Stanford course on human extinction and cognitive biases strikes a chord with students in time of COVID-19
As biological research and its applications rapidly evolve, new attempts at the governance of biology are emerging, challenging traditional assumptions about how science works and who is responsible for governing. However, these governance approaches often are not evaluated, analyzed, or compared. This hinders the building of a cumulative base of experience and opportunities for learning. Consider “biosecurity governance,” a term with no internationally agreed definition, here defined as the processes that influence behavior to prevent or deter misuse of biological science and technology.
In the midst of the damage to public health and the global economy, the COVID-19 crisis could present an unexpected opportunity both to resolve the only hot war in Europe and to address Russian President Vladimir Putin's assault on international norms of behavior.
Ukrainians rode a wild roller coaster in March. President Volodymyr Zelensky began the month by firing the prime minister and reshuffling the cabinet, prompting concern that oligarchs were reasserting their influence. COVID-19 and its dire economic implications, however, refocused attention. At the end of the month, the Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) passed on first reading legislation key to securing low-interest credits from the International Monetary Fund.
NATO Foreign Ministers are meeting this week at a time when global institutions are struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. Some institutions are even fighting for their lives, uncertain whether their missions and functions can emerge intact from this crisis. NATO does not have that problem—its focus as a military alliance is squarely on deterrence and defense against external threats, whether they flow from terrorists or state actors. Its job is to defend its member states, and it will stay ready to do so.
In a Lawfare post earlier this year, I questioned the wisdom of referring to cyber operations as psychological operations. These campaigns are the bread and butter of U.S. Cyber Command’s operational activities.