Beyond the bomb: Science and the military

The military has for many years been one of the biggest investors in scientific research. Nature takes a close look at the current relationship between science and the military: from the emerging science of traumatic brain injury in troops, to the ethical quandaries that come with killer robots.

Image credit: Viktor Koen


  • Beyond the bomb

    Twenty years after the end of the cold war, scientists and the military still need each other.

    Nature 477, 369-370 ( )



  • Shared intelligence

    The military has a vast array of scientifically valuable data – some more accessible than you think.

    Nature 477, 388-389 ( )

  • The brain war

    Wartime explosions may be creating an epidemic of brain damage – and a major challenge for scientists.

    Nature 477, 390-393 ( )


  • Joining forces

    Civilians and the military must cooperate on global disease control, say David Blazes and Kevin Russell.

    Nature 477, 395-396 ( )

  • A world of killer apps

    Leaders are ill-prepared for the ethical complications of new 'killer applications', says P. W. Singer.

    Nature 477, 399-401 ( )

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  • Live Q & A

    Should scientists feel ethically conflicted about working with the military? Is US Department of Defense funding well spent? A live web chat with some of the authors of our investigative pieces at 8am Pacific time, 11am Eastern time, Thursday 22 September.

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  • Nature Podcast: The JASONs

    Tune in to the show to get the intel on the crack team of academics advising the US government on military matters.

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  • Podcast Extra: Robot wars

    New technologies developed by the military are throwing up new ethical problems, says defence researcher Peter Singer. He talks to reporter Natasha Gilbert.

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  • The price of protection

    Since the anthrax attacks in 2001, some $60 billion has been spent on biodefence in the United States. But the money has not bought quite what was hoped.

    Nature 477, 150-152 ( )

  • Homeland insecurity

    In ten years of operation, the unwieldy Department of Homeland Security and its science directorate have seriously underperformed, says Peter D. Zimmerman.

    Nature 477, 153–154 ( )

  • Enlisting investigators

    Few scientists realize that the enormous budget of the US Department of Defense includes sizeable funds for basic research. Eric Hand provides a guide for the uninitiated.

    Nature 466, 656-657 ( )

  • The Pentagon's culture wars

    What began several years ago as an attempt to recruit social scientists to help the military has sparked a broader debate about militarizing academia. Sharon Weinberger reports.

    Nature 455, 583-585 ( )

  • Standards-lab staff up in arms over military link

    The contract to run Britain's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is up for grabs — and scientists there are warily eyeing the prospect that the nation's main standards and measurement laboratory could fall under the auspices of a contractor that specializes in military technology.

    Nature 425, 754 ( )

  • Remote control

    Could wiring up soldiers' brains to the fighting machines they control be the future face of warfare? Hannah Hoag investigates the US military's futuristic neuroengineering research programme.

    Nature 423, 796-798 ( )