Philosophy in the Laboratory

09.01.11 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Last month Sandia National Laboratories published an unlikely account of the thought of C.S. Peirce (1839-1914), the American pragmatist philosopher.  See “Peirce, Pragmatism, and the Right Way of Thinking” (pdf) by Philip L. Campbell of the Sandia Networked Systems Survivability and Assurance Department, Sandia Report SAND2011-5583, August 2011.

What is the connection between Peirce’s philosophy and the national security mission of Sandia, or of the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, which sponsored the paper?  The author did not reply to an email inquiry from Secrecy News on that point yesterday.  But the paper states that “In practical terms, we can use Peirce’s lectures to build a model of how we make decisions.” (p. 12)

See all publications
Nuclear Weapons
New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship: Creative Perspectives on Rethinking Nuclear Deterrence 

To empower new voices to start their career in nuclear weapons studies, the Federation of American Scientists launched the New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship. Here’s what our inaugural cohort accomplished.

11.28.23 | 3 min read
read more
Science Policy
Expected Utility Forecasting for Science Funding

Common frameworks for evaluating proposals leave this utility function implicit, often evaluating aspects of risk, uncertainty, and potential value independently and qualitatively.

11.20.23 | 11 min read
read more
Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear Notebook: Nuclear Weapons Sharing, 2023

The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]

11.17.23 | 1 min read
read more
Social Innovation
Community School Approach Reaches High of 60%, Reports Latest Pulse Panel

According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.

11.17.23 | 4 min read
read more