online – Invading the Campus: The Military Industrial Complex’s Quest for Academic Know-How
April 5 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
with Michael Klare and Indigo Olivier
Wednesday, April 5 @ 8pm
A webinar sponsored by the War Industry Resisters Network and Massachusetts Peace Action
Michael Klare will report on his research on the Pentagon’s quest to exploit academic research on emerging technologies – artificial intelligence, robotics, and hypersonics, among others – for military purposes. As the U.S. gears up for possible conflict with China and Russia, it seeks to attain mastery in these technologies, considered vital to success in the high-tech battles of the future. But expertise in AI and other emerging technologies is not available from the Pentagon’s traditional contractors, with their focus on metal; for tanks, planes, and other standard weapons; rather, it must be extracted from academic centers of innovation, like MIT and Carnegie Mellon University. To acquire this knowledge and employ it for military purposes, the Pentagon is establishing outposts on these and other campuses, and; their personnel in university labs and classrooms. This invasion threatens to distort academic research and convert top universities into tools of the Pentagon. A vigorous debate is therefore needed on the moral and ethical consequences of the military use of academic know-how.
Indigo Olivier will report on her research on the engineering degree to defense industry pipeline. Decades of disinvestment in public higher education have resulted in dwindling university budgets and ballooning student debt. Through scholarships, sponsored research, and a robust campus presence, the defense industry has been able to funnel some of the nation’s top scientific talent into weapons development. Olivier will discuss how our national budget priorities have influenced academic research
and what these defense industry partnerships look like on the ground.
MICHAEL T. KLARE is professor emeritus of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College. He serves as a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Arms Control Association in Washington, D.C. and as the defense correspondent of The Nation. Professor Klare is the author of 15 books, including Resource Wars, The Race for What’s Left, and, most recently, All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change. His articles on U.S. military policy, global resource competition, and arms proliferation have appeared in Arms Control Today, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, Scientific American, Survival, Technology Review, and Le Monde Diplomatique, among others.
INDIGO OLIVIER is a reporter-researcher at The New Republic. Her writing on politics, labor, and higher education has appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, In These Times, Teen Vogue, and Jacobin.