Blog Posts by Pardee RAND Faculty

  • The Police Could Be Controlling Your Self-Driving Car

    Apr 4, 2016

    Martin C. Libicki

    As self-driving cars become widespread, one of the biggest issues will be the rules under which public infrastructures and public safety officers may be empowered to override how autonomous vehicles are controlled, writes Prof. Martin Libicki.

  • Inciting Peace

    Malicious ideas, ideologies, and narratives (such as those promoted by ISIS) cannot just be eliminated — they need to be replaced, writes Prof. Christopher Paul.

  • The Democratization of Space

    Mar 28, 2016

    William Welser IV

    A new economic model for outer space must account for lower barriers to entry and the involvement of more and more stakeholders, such as developing countries and start-ups, writes Prof. Bill Welser.

  • Crude Economics, Crude Politics: Who Wins and Who Loses with Cheap Oil?

    Feb 26, 2016

    Charles Wolf, Jr.

    Prof. Charles Wolf asks, What is the outlook for oil prices? And how can we assess the balance between positive effects on national security and negative effects on the national economy?

  • At the 2016 Oscars, Transgender Health Issues Are in the Spotlight

    Feb 26, 2016

    Sarah MacCarthy

    By inviting “The Danish Girl” to Hollywood's most prestigious awards party, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is helping to shine a spotlight on transgender issues — and reflecting a larger cultural moment at the same time, writes Prof. Sarah MacCarthy.

  • Why Engineers Need to Be Thinking About Climate Change

    Feb 22, 2016

    Kenneth Kuhn

    As sea levels rise and extreme weather events become more common, evacuation routes in coastal areas will become more important. Prof. Kenneth Kuhn says transportation engineers need to be more proactive as they try to anticipate damage to pavement, bridges, and culverts.

  • How You Can Be Cybersecurity's Strongest Asset

    Feb 18, 2016

    Sherry Ryan, Lillian Ablon

    Technology is thoroughly embedded within the average person's life but security is not emphasized to the general user, writes Prof. Lillian Ablon. Teaching the importance of security early on and continually bringing awareness to the public could help temper technology-based attacks.

  • Know Zika to Fight Zika

    Feb 12, 2016

    Melinda Moore

    Scientists across universities, governments, and industry are doubling down to gain a better understanding of the Zika virus and develop the diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic tools needed to combat it. In the meantime, writes Prof. Melinda Moore, the public must be actively engaged.

  • China's Naval Modernization: Where Is It Headed?

    Feb 10, 2016

    Timothy R. Heath

    The PLA Navy is expanding its capabilities and operations to reduce vulnerabilities in China's near seas, but also to aggressively support its expanding global ambitions and challenge U.S. leadership in Asia, according to Prof. Timothy Heath.

  • Fixing Judicial Recusals

    If judges or justices own stock in the company of a litigant, they must recuse themselves from hearing the case. While these recusals help ensure impartiality at the level of the individual judge, writes Prof. James Anderson, what effect do they have on the pool of judges that hear cases involving publicly held corporations?

  • Should We Fear an AI Arms Race?

    Prof. William Welser notes that Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and others have signed a letter calling for a ban on the application of artificial intelligence to advanced weapons systems. AI weapons are not without risks, Welser writes, but the benefits are substantial and the risks can be mitigated with more moderate regulation than a ban.

  • North Korea Rocket Launch: Why Did Kim Fire a Missile Now?

    Kim Jong-un is probably seeking clear successes before his important Seventh Party Congress in May, when he wants to appear to be the all-powerful leader of North Korea, writes Prof. (and alum) Bruce Bennett (cohort '75).

  • A Unique Identifier Could Protect Patient Privacy

    Feb 3, 2016

    Michael D. Greenberg

    The policy debate about unique patient identifier numbers should determine the best approach for reconciling two goals: optimizing the privacy and security of health information and making record matching as close to perfect as is practical, writes Prof. Michael Greenberg.

  • What to Do About Informal Employment in Developing Countries

    The staying power of informal employment in developing countries is a concern, because informal employees (e.g., day laborers) tend to receive lower wages, fewer benefits, and fewer legal protections. Prof. Shanthi Nataraj asks, How can policymakers improve conditions for informal workers?

  • Battered by War, Syrian Refugee Kids Need to Be Taught

    More than 700,000 Syrian refugee children are not receiving formal education. Management of the Syrian refugee education crisis must take a longer view that recognizes the protracted nature of the problem, writes Prof. Louay Constant.

  • Modifying the ACA's Family Subsidy Rules to Help Ensure Affordability

    Jan 12, 2016

    Amado Cordova, Sarah A. Nowak, et al.

    The ACA encourages workers to retain employer coverage by restricting their eligibility for marketplace subsidies. Modifying the policy could help 700,000 people gain coverage and lower spending for 1.6 million who are insured but face high health care costs, writes Prof. Sarah Nowak.

  • Charlie Sheen and the Enduring Stigma Attached to HIV

    Dec 29, 2015

    Sarah MacCarthy

    HIV-related stigma and discrimination remains pervasive despite strides that have been made in fighting the disease, writes Prof. Sarah MacCarthy. Charlie Sheen reported paying more than $10 million in bribes to keep his HIV status secret before going public recently to put an end to the extortion.

  • Paris Gets the (Decision) Science Right

    Dec 18, 2015

    Steven W. Popper

    The framework for the Paris negotiations is in sync with what science tells us about how to make effective public policy decisions. This alone makes them historic and may provide a model for both local and global action on more than climate alone, writes Prof. Steven Popper.

  • COP21: Ambition and Momentum

    Negotiators in Paris last week achieved a historic breakthrough by adopting a fundamentally different, and likely more effective, institutional framework to address climate change, write alum Jordan Fischbach (cohort '04) and Prof. Rob Lempert. The framework builds on two concepts missing from past attempts to forge a global treaty: voluntary participation and adaptive policymaking.

  • Saving Lives After Tragedy

    Natural and man-made mass-casualty incidents are a growing threat, writes Prof. Chris Nelson. Evaluating successes and shortcomings after each crisis can contribute to the design and implementation of robust and resilient response systems and ensure the best possible outcomes for individuals and impacted communities.

  • Building Interoperability for European Defense

    To make the most out of declining defense budgets, the U.S. needs to engage European forces to build interoperability that would enable joint operations to deter and defeat potential adversaries, even with little advance notice. But building interoperable units has often proved difficult even among the friendliest of nations, write student Jakub Hlavka (cohort '14) and Prof. Chris Pernin.

  • Gun Violence: Where Is the Research That Might Save Lives?

    Nov 5, 2015

    Jeffrey Wasserman

    Gun violence is an important public health problem that accounts for more than 33,000 deaths each year in the United States but in 1996, Congress stripped the CDC of funding for any research that could be associated with gun control advocacy. The lack of CDC funding has deterred researchers, writes Prof. (and alum) Jeffrey Wasserman (cohort '85).

  • Standardized Tests Can Be Smarter

    Capping the amount of time students spend testing is a reasonable response to unchecked growth. However, a better response would be to systematically review testing programs, focusing on tests that offer the most value, write Profs. Laura Hamilton and Brian Stecher.

  • Zero Interest, Greater Inequality?

    Nov 2, 2015

    Charles Wolf, Jr.

    Low interest rates mandated by the Federal Reserve may have had and possibly continue to have adverse effects on income inequality. Those who argue for continuing near-zero short-term interest rate policy should be cognizant of this, writes Prof. Charles Wolf.

  • How Will China Respond to Future U.S. Freedom of Navigation Ops?

    Oct 29, 2015

    Timothy R. Heath

    On October 27, the USS Lassen carried out the first freedom of navigation patrol to challenge China's territorial claims in the South China Sea. In assessing China's potential response to follow-on operations, the extremes of either complete inaction or a military attack can be ruled out, writes Prof. Timothy Heath.