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Friday, August 5, 2016

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Friday August 5, 2016

Friday, August 5, 2016
Laura H. Kahn

Security experts, including a few in the US military, are becoming more concerned about the potential use of invasive species as bioweapons; US demand for unusual pets has already demonstrated that those fears are justified.
Shen Dingli
US statesman Henry L. Stimson’s motto was “pragmatic steps toward ideal objectives.” Eliminating nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula is the ideal objective so, keeping Stimson’s motto in mind, the author believes that the US and South Korea would do well to at least discuss demands from the DPRK. Read this opening entry in the final round of our debate over North Korean nuclear weapons.
How an emphasis on drones harms missile controls
Sitki Egeli
The author argues that export controls originally devised to stop the spread of WMD-capable missiles are now being misused to hinder trade in drones that are themselves unsuitable for the delivery of WMD. This misuse undermines missile-related export controls, and that’s bad news for missile nonproliferation efforts. Is it too late for missile nonproliferation? The debate continues.
Michael C. Horowitz

We could soon face a future where AI is integrated into all areas of the economy. Putting aside the social and human consequences, this democratization of technology could also speed the military aspects of AI, for both state and non-state actors.
Ariane Tabatabai
Iran’s most powerful figure,  Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, played a vital role in making sure his country’s diplomatic efforts to reach an agreement on its nuclear program were successful. But more than a year after the deal was signed in Vienna, Khamenei is increasingly distancing himself from it, this week issuing his harshest criticism yet.
Our What We’re Reading blog features short posts by our staff about articles you’ll want to see. This week we look at the Centers for Disease Control’s travel warning for Miami, Florida, and the 1,600 cases of Zika discovered so far on the US mainland; and Safecast, the citizen science group that teaches civilians to how to build network-enabled Geiger counters used to document radiation readings from Fukushima, Japan, and around the world.
With the announced retirement of our Development Director, the Bulletin is seeking a seasoned development officer with experience in development strategy and planning. Come work with us!
Helen Edwards, a highly regarded scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and longtime friend of the Bulletin, passed away in June. Among the many awards she received were the MacArthur Fellowship, the National Medal of Technology, and the Robert R. Wilson Prize of the American Physical Society. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Senior Advisor to the Bulletin Kennette Benedict was interviewed for a Washington Post article regarding Donald Trump and nuclear weapons.
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About the Bulletin
For more than 70 years the Bulletin has engaged science leaders, policy makers and the interested public on topics of nuclear weapons and disarmament, the changing energy landscape, climate change and emerging technologies.

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