Science & Technology

1378 Items

US President Joe Biden points to the crowd after speaking during the League of Conservation Voters Annual Capital Dinner, at The Anthem in Washington, DC, on June 14, 2023.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Biden Takes Measured Approach on China Investment Controls

| Aug. 19, 2023

Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order that began the process of enacting restrictions on U.S. investment in three technology sectors in China: semiconductors, quantum information technologies, and artificial intelligence. The executive order was accompanied by proposed rulemaking from the U.S. Treasury Department that would impose prohibitions and notification requirements on some investments in Chinese technologies. Although hawks in Congress pushed the administration to adopt broader controls on such investments, cooler heads prevailed, limiting the scope of the draft regulations to these three areas and prioritizing curbs on military applications of these technologies.

ATE student learning to measure output power from a laser

Photo from ATE Impacts 2020-2021

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Lab-to-Market Translation at NSF’s Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate

| June 2023

One major effort through which CHIPS and Science seeks to achieve this is the creation of the Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The TIP Directorate’s mission is to advance use-inspired research at NSF, particularly in areas of technology critical to strategic competition. 

Technicians in clean room learn to make semiconductors

Photo from ATE Impacts 2022-2023

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Community Colleges and the Semiconductor Workforce

| June 2023

Over the last several decades, the U.S.’s domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity has declined. The CHIPS Act aims to reverse this trend by investing over $50 billion in direct funding and loan subsidies to expand semiconductor research and development and manufacturing in the U.S. This primer focuses on the workforce challenges that will be spurred by this microelectronics industry expansion and proposes how community colleges can play a critical role in addressing these challenges. 

Someone holds a silicon wafer with chips etched into it as Vice President Kamala Harris tours a site where Applied Materials plans to build a $4 billion research facility on Monday, May 22, 2023, in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Jim Wilson/The New York Times via AP, Pool

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Standard Setting: Process, Politics, and the CHIPS Program

  • Sreya Vaidyanathan
  • Arya Thapa
  • Andrew Trzcinski
| June 2023

The CHIPS & Science Act of 2022 outlines an expansive national strategy to preserve and bolster the United States’ national security by ensuring a pathway for a resilient supply chain for semiconductors and other critical and emerging technologies. Targeted provisions in the CHIPS and Science Act aim to address U.S. leadership in domestic and international standards-setting processes. For federal agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), contending with implementation of standards-related mandates within the CHIPS program presents a delicate balancing act between supporting emerging national priorities but preserving the existing industry-driven model for setting standards. 

drawing of math problems

N. Hanacek/NIST

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Technology Primer: Post-Quantum Cryptography

  • Boaz Barak
  • Lily Chen
  • Jack Hidary
  • Vinod Vaikuntanathan
| June 23, 2023

Quantum computers pose a threat to conventional cryptography, putting our information and communication systems at risk. In an effort to sustain the privacy and integrity of our data ecosystems, researchers are turning to post-quantum cryptography (PQC). This publication describes how PQC works, and the governance, application, and public purpose considerations for implementing PQC. 

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Blog Post

DAO Harvard Conference Recap

| June 20, 2023

On April 2-4, 2023, the DAO Harvard conference brought together practitioners, policymakers, and academics to engage in conversation regarding the research, legal, and policy considerations of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). The conference, hosted by the Belfer Center’s Technology & Public Purpose Project and the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Ethics, convened global participants across five continents here at Harvard University. This post will recap some of the major themes and takeaways from each of the individual summits– the Research Summit, Law Summit, and Summit on Equitable Ownership and Governance in the Online Economy.

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Blog Post - perspectives-on-public-purpose

Fostering a Digital Commons: Internet-Native Experiments For Sustainable Open-Source Software

| June 20, 2023

The internet, and by extension much of the global economy, is built on “digital public goods,” often in the form of open-source software. This open-source software is a critical infrastructure for the devices and applications that are part of our everyday lives, yet remains consistently under-funded and under-resourced. Below we explore the importance of and obstacles to sustainability that open-source software faces today, and highlight various experiments that aim to improve the quantity and quality of such infrastructure.

An orange and blue background with an isometric illustration of digital buildings and people

Helena Rong


From Community Currency to Crypto City Tokens: Potentials, Shortfalls, and Future Outlooks of New Old Ideas

| June 15, 2023

Tailored to specific geographic areas, local community currencies are alternative monetary systems designed to empower local businesses and foster engagement while promoting a greater sense of unity of a place. Although these community currencies have never become mainstream practice throughout history, they have repeatedly risen in popularity during times of economic crisis or instability. In the wake of the pandemic, a resurgent interest in community currencies—now powered by blockchain and Web3 technologies—is reshaping the way cities approach local financing and engagement of their constituents. Over the last two years, mayors from major U.S. cities such as New York City, Jackson, Tampa Bay, Miami, and Austin made headlines by openly endorsing cryptocurrencies and embracing the idea of city-branded tokens in hopes of unlocking alternative ways of fundraising and boosting local economic growth during the crypto market’s heyday. With a rich history rooted in times of economic turmoil, community currencies offer both inspiring success stories and cautionary tales of the challenges that lie ahead as cities navigate the evolving financial landscape. As we consider the possibilities of community currencies powered by crypto, we ask: Are they just a temporary fad that poses potential risks and little value, or do they hold the potential to truly offer a synergistic solution to the problems facing cities today? Could they digitally revolutionize the age-old practice of local community currency and elevate public purpose value and social impact?