Science & Technology

1287 Items

Video - SNF Agora Institute

Election 2020 — Securing the Vote

| Oct. 16, 2020

The 2020 election is happening amidst unprecedented disagreement about election security, as the coronavirus pandemic challenges traditional in-person voting. On the one hand, the incumbent president claims that postal voting will lead to widespread electoral fraud. On the other, Democrats argue that the U.S. postal system is being deliberately degraded to make it less likely that mailed ballots will be counted in time. Both political scientists who work on voting, and information security specialists, who think systematically about the failure modes, attack surfaces, and threat models of large information systems, can help us understand—and mitigate—the likely failures of large-scale voting systems operating under unexpected circumstances in a context of increased fear over manipulation.

Journal Article - Progress in Energy

Successful Clean Energy Technology Transitions in Emerging Economies: Learning from India, China, and Brazil

| 2020

Technological innovation and widespread deployment of clean-energy technologies in emerging economies are critical for a global clean energy transition. Success or failure in this endeavour will have long-term energy and carbon consequences. A fundamental question exists about whether, and how, emerging economies can accelerate clean-energy transitions, given the unprecedented scales of their impending socio-economic and infrastructure transitions, and often-underdeveloped technological innovation capabilities and supporting finances. 

workmen label the priority packages of Salk polio vaccine for distribution

AP/Ernest K. Bennett

Journal Article - Journal of Applied History

To Boldly Remember Where We Have Already Been

| 2020

This article revisits the Cutter Incident in the United States in April 1955 when mass-produced doses of polio vaccine containing insufficiently inactivated (killed) live polio virus were released to the U.S. public. The Cutter Incident also affected subsequent vaccine development and these lessons remain relevant in the international quest to create a rapidly developed vaccine for COVID-19. The Cutter Incident shows how things can go wrong when a vaccine is manufactured in haste and without adequate safety precautions during mass-production

Social Distancing in Trader Joe's parking lot

Wikimedia CC/Strmsrg

Report - opcast.org

Epidemiological Modeling Needs New, Coherent, Federal Support for the Post-COVID-19 Era

    Authors:
  • Christine Cassel
  • Christopher Chyba
  • Susan Graham
  • Richard C. Levin
  • Ed Penhoet
  • William Press
  • Maxine Savitz
  • Harold Varmus
| Sep. 28, 2020

Epidemiological modeling is an important but under-supported field of science that lacks a clear home among the federal science-funding agencies. Additional basic research and translational work in the field is needed between pandemics, and greater operational capabilities are needed during epidemics. The authors of this report have identified here a series of actions that can strengthen modeling efforts and their operationalization, to make the country better prepared for the next pandemic.

Members of the Faculty Working Group discuss the public purpose implications of emerging technologies.

Benn Craig

Report

Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group Annual Report 2019-2020

| September 2020

The Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group (FWG), hosted by former Secretary of Defense and Belfer Center Director Ash Carter and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean Frank Doyle, holds monthly discussion-based meetings that explore and answer the question:

How do we resolve the dilemmas posed to public good and public purpose, created by technology’s unstoppable advances?

The Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group Annual Report is a summary report of findings, key insights, and outstanding questions from the discussions held during the 2019-2020 academic year.