The mission of CSWMD’s science and technology function is to explore the implications of advances in science and technology for applications having the potential for mass destruction, mass effect, or equivalently high impact to U.S. national security and defense.


Our Approach

The center’s two-part approach to S&T focuses on both analysis of emerging scientific and technological trends with high defense significance, and on how and whether existing governance models (including prevention, promotion, management, and response) can adequately address resulting security opportunities, concerns, and risks.

Our outcomes-based research tools include bibliometrics and other analyses, workshops, tabletops, and expert consultations to produce a variety of decision products and learning tools for use by policy makers and operators across DOD and the broader interagency.


Recent Publications


Orbis | March 18, 2021

Quantum Sensing's Potential Impacts on Strategic Deterrence and Modern Warfare

Sarah Jacobs Gamberini and Lawrence Rubin

Sarah Jacobs Gamberini and Lawrence Rubin recently wrote an article in the Foreign Policy Research Institute's Orbis journal of world affairs researching how quantum sensing could impact WMD, deterrence, and modern warfare.


Biomedical specialist Mamadou Dialio at work in the Cedars-Sinai Biomanufacturing Center.

Strategic Insights | March 11, 2021

Want to Grow the Economy? Try Fermenting It Instead

Peter Emanuel Ph.D., Brian Feeney Ph.D. and Diane DiEuliis Ph.D.

U.S. industry’s distribution system and supply chains were vulnerable before COVID, but pandemic-related disruptions to supply chains fully exposed this already alarming problem. U.S. manufacturers have relied too heavily on foreign materials for production, and the steady off-shoring of critical industries over a course of decades has reduced direct control of vital defense-related manufacturing should it be needed.


In 2014, John P. Caves, Jr., and W. Seth Carus of the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at National Defense University published a paper on the future of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). That paper projected WMD-relevant geopolitical and technological trends and made judgments as to how those trends would shape the nature and role of WMD in 2030.

National Intelligence University Press | Feb. 1, 2021

The Future of Weapons of Mass Destruction: An Update

John P. Caves Jr. and W. Seth Carus

In an update to their 2014 paper on the future of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), John P. Caves, Jr., and W. Seth Carus assess and offer policy considerations on the significant geopolitical and technological developments shaping the future of WMD since 2014.


Nature Communications, Volume 11

Nature Communications, Volume 11 | Dec. 9, 2020

The biosecurity benefits of genetic engineering attribution

Gregory Lewis et al., including Gerald L. Epstein

In a recent volume of Nature Communications, Dr. Gerald Epstein and colleagues examine the biosecurity benefits of genetic engineering attribution. This paper is a policy companion piece to a technical paper, published in the same issue, announcing new results in using machine learning to recognize the source of a genetically engineered DNA.



The Brookings Institution | Dec. 1, 2020

The rise of the futurists: The perils of predicting with futurethink

Alexander H. Montgomery and Amy J. Nelson

In this paper, Dr. Alexander H. Montgomery and Dr. Amy J. Nelson explore probabilistic and possibilistic approaches to uncertainty related to AI, outline their potential advantages and disadvantages, and identify common biases that hinder good prediction.


Research Team

Diane DiEuliis
Assistant Director and Senior Fellow

Gerald Epstein
Distinguished Fellow