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Carnegie Mellon Institute for Strategy & Technology

CMU's Home for Political Science and International Relations

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Immerse yourself in our work with live, in-person events, webinars, conferences and engaging conversations with influential figures in security and technology.

Scientists & Strategists Speaker Series

Our spring 2024 speaker series has wrapped up, but stay tuned! We're busy planning exciting events for fall. In the meantime, catch up on recordings from past speakers.

Recorded Events

Click to watch CMIST Scientists and Strategists The Exceptions with Kate Zernike
The Exceptions: How 16 Women Started a Revolution in Science, and What it Means for Us Today with Kate Zernike. The renowned journalist and author discusses her captivating book, The Exceptions: Nancy Hopkins and the Fight for Women in Science. Zernike explores the true story of Dr. Nancy Hopkins, a brilliant scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who led a group of sixteen female faculty members in collective action that ultimately resulted in MIT's historic admission of discrimination against women in the male-dominated field of science. The Exceptions chronicles the groundbreaking scientific achievements of these women and their courageous fight for equal opportunity. Zernike engrosses the audience with a national conversation about unconscious bias and gender inequities in STEM. A perfect talk for anyone interested in science, equality, and the power of collective action.
Beyond Dual Use: Rethinking the Way We Understand and Govern Security Concerns in Science and Technology with Dr. Sam Weiss Evans examines the concept of "dual use". For over half a century, the language we have used to identify and govern security concerns in science and technology has often revolved around this term. The term, however, has substantial limitations that hinder our ability to even see, let alone govern, security concerns in today’s geopolitical, social, and technical environments. In this talk, Dr. Evans outlines the reasons why the term has such purchase with a wide range of governing mechanisms today, and provides examples of its limitations. He then sketches some alternatives we might explore, and how this change in language can be part of a bigger shift in the institutions and practices of security governance of science and technology today.
Click to watch CMIST Scientists and Strategists Beyond Dual Use with Dr. Sam Weiss Evans
Forgotten Warriors: The Long History of Women in Combat with Dr. Sarah Percy, based on her recent book, explores the historic role women have had in combat. From Boudicca’s rebellion to the war in Ukraine, battlefields have always contained a surprising number of women. Some formed all-female armies, like the Dahomey Mino of West Africa; some fought disguised as men; some mobilized in times of national survival, like the Soviet flying aces known as the Night Witches. International relations expert Percy unearths the stories of these forgotten warriors. She sets the historical record straight, revealing that women’s exclusion from active combat in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is a blip in a much longer narrative of female inclusion. Deeply researched and brilliantly told, Forgotten Warriors turns the notion of war as a man’s game on its head and restores women to their rightful place on the front lines of history.
Power to the People: How Accessible Lethal Technology Alters War and Peace with Professor Audrey Kurth Cronin is based on her award-winning book. Cronin discusses how individuals and small groups have shared and used accessible lethal technology in the past, and how they are likely to do so in the future. The diffusion of modern technologies--digital media, robotics, additive manufacturing, synthetic biology, autonomous systems, machine learning, and various types of artificial intelligence--makes them accessible to a broader range of people, and that alters war. Open technological innovation is changing the evolution of conflict, in the war in Ukraine and the competition between major powers, and we must adapt.
Boomers, Doomers, and the Politics of Technology, with Prof. Sarah Kreps, examines debates about the speed and impact of the most disruptive and influential technologies or technological trends since nuclear weapons—nuclear weapons themselves, social media, AI, crypto, and commercial space like SpaceX. In debates about new technologies, boomers develop technologies that they believe will deliver benefits and doomers fear the catastrophic consequences of these technologies. This analysis reveals patterns the explore the divide of theory and practice and lead to an optimistic assessment about the past, present, and future of tech governance. 

Conversations with Senior Leaders


Audrey Kurth Cronin
CMIST Director
Trustees Professor of Security and Technology, CMU

Jim Richardson
Retired, United States Army Lieutenant General
Carnegie Mellon University Distinguished Executive in Residence

Laura J. Richardson
United States Army General
Commander, U.S. Southern Command

Taped on 28 September 2023 at Carnegie Mellon University

Audrey Kurth Cronin
CMIST Director
Trustees Professor of Security and Technology, CMU

Jim Richardson
Retired, United States Army Lieutenant General
Carnegie Mellon University Distinguished Executive in Residence

Taped on 14 July 2023 at Carnegie Mellon University


Patrick Cronin
CMIST Scholar in Residence
Asia-Pacific Security Chair, Hudson Institute

James Foggo
Dean, Center for Maritime Strategy of the Navy League; Retired, Admiral U.S. Navy

Introduction by:  Audrey Kurth Cronin, CMIST Director; Trustees Professor of Security and Technology, CMU

Taped on 8 May 2023 at Carnegie Mellon University