Science and Technology Publications
Drawing on past work supported by the Cold War International History Program, the A. Ross Johnson and R. Eugene Parta apply lessons from successful U.S. international broadcasting during the Cold War to today’s transformed geopolitical, media, and technological world. They suggest a restatement of mission and corresponding organizational changes to ensure that international broadcasting remains an effective instrument of U.S. soft power – one supporting freedom and democracy abroad in the national interest.
By harnessing the collective power of citizens and engaging communities in their own response and recovery, social media have the power to revolutionize emergency management. Yet, many challenges—including guidelines for use by response agencies, demonstration of value, and characterization of reliability—must be addressed if the potential of social media is to be fully realized in emergency response and relief efforts in the United States.
A white paper on the policy and technology behind the National Broadband Map, an open-source geographic information systems application allowing users to access detailed statistics on internet connectivity. This project demonstrates the value of transparency, collaboration, and cooperation in government projects.
The Program on America and the Global Economy along with Paul Vallas, Distinguished Scholar and noted education reformer recently released a publication identifying the main challenges facing U.S. education in the 21st century.
Launched in July 2012, FLOAT Beijing—a community art project that utilizes citizen science—offers a simple, innovative, and non-confrontational approach to air quality monitoring: kites. Pioneered by two U.S. graduate students, the project tracks air pollutants using air sensor modules attached to kites.
Major emergencies and crises can overwhelm local resources. In the last several years, self-organized digital volunteers have begun leveraging the power of social media and “crowd-mapping” for collaborative crisis response. Rather than mobilizing a physical response, these digital volunteer groups have responded virtually by creating software applications, monitoring social networks, aggregating data, and creating “crowdsourced” maps to assist both survivors and the formal response community. These virtual responses can subject digital volunteers to tort liability. This report evaluates the precise contours of potential liability for digital volunteers.
Climate change technology transfer has been included in several plans and programs with the aim of bridging the gap between industrialized countries and the developing world.
This report draws from the dialogue and seminar papers shared at an April 2011 meeting co-hosted by the Wilson Center and the Fetzer Institute to explore how best to respond to disasters. Highlighting the complex nature of disaster response and exploring ways to overcome the inherent tension between those responding to disasters and the local community, the discussion centered on how to identify the strengths of a community and use technology to better engage the local community and provide effective, sustainable relief.