On 12 April 2023, CSER welcomed Christopher Chyba, Professor of Astrophysics and International Affairs at Princeton University to lead a seminar on new technologies and nuclear escalation. In it, Chyba discussed how technology can impact strategic stability, including escalation to nuclear weapons use. The relationship between biological innovations and nuclear weapons use was a useful example. This led to conversation about systematic assessment of emerging technology’s risks to strategic stability, which is focused not just on the intrinsic characteristics of the technology, but also on how it is operationalized or deployed and in what context.
Chyba was past director of the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton. As an associate professor at Stanford University before coming to Princeton, he co-directed the Center for International Security and Cooperation and held the Sagan Chair at the SETI Institute. He has been a Marshall Scholar and a MacArthur Fellow. During President Clinton’s first term, he served on the national security staff at the White House, entering as a White House Fellow. He served as a member of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology from August 2009 through January 2017, on which he co-chaired the Biodefense Working Group.
- Christopher Chyba, New Technologies and Strategic Stability
- Charles Perrow, Normal Accidents: Living with High Risk Technologies