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Thread: The Minerva Consortium

  1. #41
    Council Member Randy Brown's Avatar
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    Apr 2008

    Default And the checks go to ...

    On the Floods of 2008: No worries here on the personal front, as my family is holding the high ground. Still, thoughts, prayers and donations to the American Red Cross and other relief agencies are, no doubt, always appreciated.

    On ways to incentivize (bad, business-jargony word, but the only one at hand) research, I'm still liking the X-Prize kind of model. Once again,'s Sharon Weinburger is apparently monitoring my brain waves, given her article on "More Prizes for Homeland Security Ideas", in which she states:

    It's interesting to watch the proliferation of "prizes" in national security, seen in these cases, as well as in DARPA's Grand Challenge. It's become apparently an effective way to generate widespread interest, leverage private sector funding and generate publicity.
    I don't know whether I've stated it clearly in past conversations, but my interest in this area relates to the generation of lessons-learned (in a small-wars context, 'natch). I figure that if Family Handyman or Better Homes and Gardens (full-disclosure, I'm the former editor of a couple of Better Homes-brand special-interest publications) will give you a couple of bucks for household hints, there might be a similar model for soliciting lessons-learned.

    Something for future talk, or perhaps eventually a separate thread ...
    L2I is "Lessons-Learned Integration."
    -- A lesson is knowledge gained through experience.
    -- A lesson is not "learned" until it results in organizational or behavioral change.
    -- A lesson-learned is not "integrated" until shared successfully with others.

  2. #42
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Dec 2006

    Default When Professors Go to War

    Gates, to his credit, is much more interested than Rumsfeld was in mobilizing the human sciences in the “war on terror.”
    ... But the tragedy of his initiative is that the very thing that makes it so appealing—at last, the Pentagon is seeking expert input from the academy—could also doom it to failure.

    If American policymakers get the answers to these questions wrong, the people in the region will surely suffer, and more Americans will die unnecessarily—be it in more Middle Eastern wars, in future 9/11s, or both.

    “So what?” you might ask. Isn’t that their problem? Graham Spanier, the president of Pennsylvania State University and a Minerva booster, recently told the New York Times that scholars who oppose Pentagon funding simply “shouldn’t apply.” This glib sentiment has an obvious appeal, but U.S. policymakers would be well advised to think hard before taking Spanier’s advice.
    Much more at Foreign Policy...
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  3. #43
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Ottawa, Canada


    You know, a lot of what Hugh writes in that FP piece is correct: the people applying will be self-selecting and that will cause a bias in the research results. Personally, I think that some of that bias may be worked around since the BAA for Minerva specifically states that a) they want people at non-American institutions applying and that b) they are interested in basic research. We will have to see how it plays out in reality, but I think that the agreement between the Pentagon and the NSF may help on the next round of funding.
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University

  4. #44
    Council Member wm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    On the Lunatic Fringe

    Default First MINERVA Awards Announcement

    Here it is on DefenseLink. Titles of the topics that won do not seem too impressive to me at least.

    --The Evolving Relationship Between Technology and National Security in China: Innovation, Defense Transformation, and China’s Place in the Global Technology Order
    --Finding Allies for the War of Words: Mapping the Diffusion and Influence of Counter-Radical Muslim Discourse
    --Iraq’s Wars with the US from the Iraqi Perspective: State Security, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Civil-Military Relations, Ethnic Conflict and Political Communication in Baathist Iraq
    --Terrorism Governance and Development
    --Emotion and Intergroup Relations
    --Climate Change, State Stability, and Political Risk in Africa
    --ECIR - Explorations in Cyber International Relations
    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit
    The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught. — Sydney J. Harris


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