Lynn Eden is acting
co-director (2008-09) at the Center for International Security and
Cooperation, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies,
Stanford University. Eden received her Ph.D. in sociology from the
University of Michigan, held several pre- and post-doctoral
fellowships, and taught in the history department at Carnegie Mellon
before coming to Stanford. In the area of international security, Eden
has focused on U.S. foreign and military policy, arms control, the
social construction of science and technology, and organizational
issues regarding nuclear policy and homeland security. She co-edited,
with Steven E. Miller, Nuclear Arguments: Understanding the Strategic Nuclear Arms and Arms Control Debates (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1989). She was an editor of The Oxford Companion to American Military History (New
York: Oxford University Press, 2000), which takes a social and cultural
perspective on war and peace in U.S. history. That volume was chosen as
a Main Selection of the History Book Club.
Eden's book Whole World on Fire: Organizations, Knowledge, and Nuclear Weapons Devastation(Ithaca:
Cornell University Press, 2004; New Delhi: Manas Publications, 2004)
explores how and why the U.S. government--from World War II to the
present--has greatly underestimated the damage caused by nuclear
weapons by failing to predict damage from firestorms. It shows how
well-funded and highly professional organizations, by focusing on what
they do well and systematically excluding what they don't, may build a
poor representation of the world--a self-reinforcing fallacy that can
have serious consequences, from the sinking of the Titanic to not
predicting the vulnerability of the World Trade Center to burning jet
fuel. Whole World on Fire won the American Sociological Association's 2004 Robert K. Merton Award for best book in science, knowledge, and technology.
Eden has also written on life in small-town America. Her first book, Crisis in Watertown (Ann
Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1972) was her college senior
thesis; it was a finalist for a National Book Award in 1973. Her second
book, Witness in Philadelphia, with Florence Mars (Baton
Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1977), about the murders of
civil rights workers Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman in the summer of
1964, was a Book of the Month Club Alternate Selection.
Providing commentary on Dr. Eden's paper is Lieutenant Colonel
John Vitacca, a national defense fellow for 2009-2010 at CISAC.
John holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in
Marketing from Texas A&M University, a Master of Business Administration
degree in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a Master of
Arts degree in Military Operational Art and Science from Air Command and Staff
College, Air University, Alabama. He is
a command pilot with over 3,400 flight hours in the B-2 and B-52, qualified as
both an instructor and evaluator pilot.
Prior to coming to CISAC, John served in various assignments including a
tour at the Pentagon as the Chief of the Global Persistent Attack Branch and the
B-2/Next Generation Bomber subject matter expert. Most recently, he was the Commander of the
393d Bomb Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base, one of only two operational B-2
stealth bomber squadrons in the USAF.
His research at CISAC will focus on nuclear weapons policy issues.