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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
Why This Scientist Said No to DARPA
21 September 2009 2:48 pm
Meet the Carnegie Mellon University robotics scientist who has weaned himself off military money—who says that colleagues are quietly contemplating the same decision:
[Illah] Nourbakhsh resolved to refuse all military money and choose to work only on the most positive research work he could find. "I wanted to feel I was working on something with immediate social-positive impact, rather than something neutral that could be used for good or ill later…I want to be able to say I've done some good in the world...It is hard to get millions from any other source, plus you have a far better chance of winning DARPA grants than others."
In the last few years, Nourbakhsh has noticed a change. While no one really cared about his refusal of Pentagon money when he was a graduate student, he is starting to make waves as a professor.
He tells how several colleagues have quietly come up to him to say, "We are watching you. If you pull this off for several years, we may well do the same." He ends our talk by saying, "I'm a guinea pig and that makes me more firmly resolved to prove that it's possible."