FAS Roundup: Reevaluating Drones, Impacts of Surveillance, & STRATCOM on Chinese Missile Silos

By August 19, 2021

Have an idea for President Biden’s first State of the Union address?  The Day One Project is looking for 50 science and technology policy ideas to inform the Administration’s agenda. Contribute yours here.

New Policy Ideas from the Day One Project: Countering Chinese Broadcast Monopolization, Reevaluating Drone Technology, and Getting the Lead Out

Countering China’s Monopolization of African Nations’ Digital Broadcasting Infrastructure

The majority of people living in the African continent access their news and information from broadcasted television and radio – much of which is owned and operated by Chinese companies. In a new proposal, FAS Fellow Ishan Sharma and Executive Secretary of Ghana’s National Media Commission George Sarpong present a set of actions for the U.S. to counter China’s influence and promote a democratic information ecosystem.

Reevaluating U.S. Military Use of Drone Technology

In the 21st century, drone technology has become commonplace in warfare, but widespread use of drones in war engenders considerable controversy. In a new proposal, Day One Project Chief of Staff Loully Saney lays out steps the Biden Administration should take to boost accountability for civilian deaths by rethinking when and how drones are used.

American Rescue Plan Funding: A Playbook for Efficiently Getting the Lead Out

Though new uses of lead in paint, gasoline, and pipes have been banned for several decades, lead in legacy products and materials remains in communities, posing an ongoing threat to human and economic development. From BlueConduit Managing Director Ian Robinson and Brig. Gen. (ret.) Michael McDaniel, a data-driven proposal to give cities and states the opportunity to finally eradicate lead contamination in water lines.


What We’re Working On: Science Council Snapshots

We believe that science policy needs scientists. So we connected some with Congress.

In June, in collaboration with Congressman Bill Foster (D, IL-11) and his office, the Federation of American Scientists launched a new Science Council. Since then, we’ve been releasing readouts that expand upon scientific exchanges between Congressman Foster and members of his Science Council. 

Here’s a shortlist of what we’ve published:

These science policy snapshots explore pressing science and technology policy issues, and provide a basic overview of the science behind them, while not getting lost in the weeds. 

If you want to learn more about our project that builds Science Councils for individual Members of Congress, or how the Congressional Science Policy Initiative (CSPI) is increasing the connectivity between the science and policymaking communities, please visit fas.org/congress.


Highlights from FAS Experts: How Surveillance Silences Dissidents, Pushing S&T Faculty to Participate in Policymaking, and STRATCOM on Missile Silos

Rare Bipartisan Consensus on Innovation Must Lead to Increased NSF Support. Congress can’t lose sight of bipartisan legislation designed to supercharge U.S. innovation. In a new op-ed, Acting FAS President Dan Correa and AAAS’s Matt Hourihan call on Congress to seal the deal and invest in innovation at National Science Foundation.

Ishan Sharma on How Surveillance Silences Dissidents

Are changing politics and new technologies making it harder to be a dissident? Hear FAS Fellow Ishan Sharma on BBC News, discussing how modern surveillance methods harm dissent and threaten democracy.

Why and How Faculty Should Participate in U.S. Policymaking

If the U.S. Congress is to produce sound policies that benefit the public good, scientists, engineers, and technologists should actively contribute evidence-based information to the American policymaking process, write Dr. Michael A. Fisher and Policy Analyst Lindsay Milliken in Inside Higher Ed.

Strategic Command Boss Encourages People To Keep Looking For More Chinese Missile Silos

STRATCOM, and the Pentagon as a whole, have effectively been deferring to organizations like FAS on filling in the picture of China’s nuclear development path, writes Thomas Newdick in The Drive on the importance of open-source research and investigation in nuclear deterrence.