Science and Technology in the Military, with Ash Carter

Milstar Satellite artist’s concept - U.S. Air Force image, courtesy of Northrop Grumman.

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About This Episode

What will the future armed forces of the United States look like? Neil deGrasse Tyson finds out when he interviews former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter. Joined by comic co-host Leighann Lord and Michael Horowitz, an expert on military innovation and the future of war, our crew is here to break down the complex role science and technology play in national defense. Learn why DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, was created and how it shares a similar origin story to NASA. Explore bio-warfare, cyberwarfare, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology. You’ll hear about Ash’s scientific background, including his work in quantum chromodynamics, and how he came to believe scientists have a duty to give back or participate in government. He also reveals the two most important things he learned from his science background. Discover why the U.S. will have to reshape its global defense strategy now that contemporary technology is becoming accessible to more nations. Mona Chalabi drops in to help us quantify the U.S. defense budget, and P.W. Singer, defense strategist and author, joins in to discuss what World War Three might look like in a distant future. Chuck Nice heads into the street to ask people what their favorite weapon of the future is, and Bill Nye boards the U.S.S. Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum to ponder the connections between military guidance and technological breakthroughs. All that, plus fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about death stars, lasers, and much more!

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Science and Technology in the Military, with Ash Carter, as well as Neil’s extended interview with Ash Carter here.

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