Defense technologies raise critical questions

May 24, 2010

What are the ramifications of making self-directed robots, cyborg insects, drone fighter aircraft and cognitive-enhancement drugs essential tools of national defense operations?

Are we prepared to deal with the social, political and moral implications of deploying these powerful military technologies? Download Full Image

Such technology isn’t futuristic, it’s on the near horizon, says Arizona State University engineering professor Brad Allenby.

Allenby writes in the online news magazine Slate about the challenges we face in framing a rational societal response to the potential impacts of these stunningly advanced technologies – impacts that will reach far beyond the battlefield.

The article is published in conjunction with "Warring Futures: How Biotech and Robotics Are Transforming Today's Military—and How That Will Change the Rest of Us," a May 24 conference in Washington, D.C., sponsored by Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State University.  Read">">Read article.

To hear an interview on the the subject with Allenby and Daniel Sarewitz, director of ASU's Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes, on the national radio program The Takeaway, click"> here.

The show is a co-production of Public Radio International and WNYC Radio in collaboration with BBC World Service, The New York Times and WGBH Boston.

Allenby is a professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, a part of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. He’s also the ASU Lincoln Center Professor of Engineering and Ethics.

He is working with the U. S. Naval Academy Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership in a program bringing together scholars and teachers with senior career military officers, civil servants and others to promote public understanding of ethics and leadership issues involving war and defense strategies.

Related to that effort, Allenby investigates the social, cultural, ethical and operational implications of emerging military and national security technologies.

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


Women's golf places fourth at NCAA Championships

May 24, 2010

The Arizona State women's golf team earned a fourth place trophy at the 2010 NCAA Women's Golf Championships held at the Country Club of Landfall. The Sun Devils shot 9-over 1161 (288-293-290-290) to finish in fourth place behind winner Purdue, second-place USC and third place Alabama. Caroline Hedwall of Oklahoma State won the individual competition after carding 12-under 276.

Freshman Jennifer">">... Johnson finished runner-up after shooting 8-under 280 (67-70-70-73). This is her highest finish in a tournament this season and is her fifth time placing in the top 10. During the final round, she had a large gallery following her every shot. Download Full Image

Sophomore Carlota">">C... Ciganda was the team's next highest finisher. The Spaniard shot 6-over 294 (76-75-70-73) over the tournament. Putting together a nice final round, Jaclyn">">Ja... Sweeney finished tied for 39th at 7-over 295 (75-74-77-69). Juliana">">Ju... Murcia shot 8-over 296 (73-74-73-76) over the tournament while Giulia">">G... Molinaro was 13-over 301 (73-76-77-75).

More on awards to come later...