Julia M. Macdonald is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House and an assistant professor in international relations at the University of Denver (on leave for 2016-2017). Her research focuses on state threat assessments, use of force decisions, and US military strategy and effectiveness.
She contributes to the Bulletin as part of a monthly series by Perry World House, the University of Pennsylvania’s hub for global engagement, on the implications of emerging technologies for global politics. Follow Perry World House at @perryworldhouse.
A senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, Robert Alvarez served as senior policy adviser to the Energy Department's secretary and deputy assistant secretary for national security and the environment from 1993 to 1999. During this tenure, he led teams in North Korea to establish control of nuclear weapons materials. He also coordinated the Energy Department's nuclear material strategic planning and established the department's first asset management program. Before joining the Energy Department, Alvarez served for five years as a senior investigator for the US Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, chaired by Sen. John Glenn, and as one of the Senate’s primary staff experts on the US nuclear weapons program. In 1975, Alvarez helped found and direct the Environmental Policy Institute, a respected national public interest organization. He also helped organize a successful lawsuit on behalf of the family of Karen Silkwood, a nuclear worker and active union member who was killed under mysterious circumstances in 1974. Alvarez has published articles in Science, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Technology Review, and The Washington Post. He has been featured in television programs such as NOVA and 60 Minutes.
Kennette Benedict is a senior adviser to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and served as Executive Director and Publisher from 2005 until she retired in February 2015. She is adjunct professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.
Previously, Benedict was the Director of International Peace and Security at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, overseeing grant-making on a broad international security agenda, as well as supporting efforts to reduce the threat from weapons of mass destruction and an initiative on science, technology, and security.
Benedict has taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She has published numerous columns and articles about nuclear weapons and disarmament, nuclear power, climate change, and global governance, and has made many media appearances regarding those issues. Benedict received her BA from Oberlin College and her PhD in political science from Stanford University.
Charles P. Blair is a Washington, DC-based university instructor, researcher, and writer specializing in terrorism and the history, technical underpinnings, and potential futures of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). As a visiting student in Moscow in 1985, Blair witnessed the final years of the Cold War and since then has worked on issues relating to globalization and the concomitant diffusion and diversification of WMD in the context of the rise of mass-casualty terrorism incidents. In addition to teaching graduate-level classes on terrorism and the technology of WMD at Johns Hopkins University and George Mason University, Blair is a columnist for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
John Cook is the Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at The University of Queensland. He created the website SkepticalScience.com, which won the 2011 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for the Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge. In 2015 he was elected to be a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, an organization whose mission is to promote scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims. John is completing a PhD in cognitive psychology, researching how people think about climate change.
Hugh Gusterson is a professor of anthropology and international affairs at George Washington University. His expertise is in nuclear culture, international security, and the anthropology of science. He has written two books on the culture of nuclear weapons scientists and antinuclear activists: Nuclear Rites: A Weapons Laboratory at the End of the Cold War (University of California Press, 1996) and People of the Bomb: Portraits of America's Nuclear Complex (University of Minnesota Press, 2004). Gusterson also co-edited Why America's Top Pundits Are Wrong (University of California Press, 2005) and its sequel, The Insecure American (University of California Press, 2009). He is currently writing a book on the polygraph. Previously, he taught at MIT's program on Science, Technology, and Society, and at George Mason's Cultural Studies program.
Siegfried Hecker is a senior fellow and affiliated faculty member at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is also a research professor in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford. He is director emeritus of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he served as director from 1986 to 1997 and as senior fellow until July 2005.
Michael C. Horowitz (@mchorowitz) is an associate professor of political science and the associate director of Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the co-author of Why Leaders Fight (2015) and the author of The Diffusion of Military Power: Causes and Consequences for International Politics (2010), which won awards from the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, the International Studies Association, and the Society of Policy Scientists. His research interests include military innovation, the future of war, the role of leaders in international politics, and forecasting.
Horowitz' columns are part of a monthly series by Perry World House, the University of Pennsylvania’s hub for global engagement, on the implications of emerging technologies for global politics. Follow Perry World House at @perryworldhouse.
A general internist who began her career in health care as a registered nurse, Kahn works on the research staff of Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security. Her expertise is in public health, biodefense, and pandemics. From 2003-2005, she led a study that assessed the public health infrastructures of New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. She has also co-organized the Carnegie Corporation’s "Biodefense Challenge" seminar series, which introduces biosecurity, codes of conduct, and dual-use biotech threats to the life sciences community. Prior to joining Princeton, she was a managing physician for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and a medical officer for the Food and Drug Administration.