July 6, 2021

Can the US catch up with the Globalization of Sci-Tech?

Melissa Flagg, Senior Fellow, Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), Georgetown University, and Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Geotech Center, interviewed by Trond Arne Undheim, futurist and author.
In this conversation, w...


Melissa Flagg, Senior Fellow, Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), Georgetown University, and Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Geotech Center, interviewed by Trond Arne Undheim, futurist and author.

In this conversation, we talked about Melissa Flagg's upbringing in Missouri, her pharma PhD, road-trip in all 50 states, how she is currently trying to turn moonshine into gin, her shamanic journey, and her views on security, sci-tech, and defense innovation. Why does US policy pretend it is 1975? The decentralization of sci-tech globally and why has the US not noticed? Emerging security threats and challenges. Widening the scope of security threats to environmental challenges (pandemics, climate change). Finally, we discuss science and optimism. 

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Trond's takeaway "Sci-tech is in a global state but governments are still in their national state. How long can this last? Regions such as the EU have made great strides to internationalize funding and collaboration, so have many smaller, agile nation states. China is rising faster than almost anybody had predicted both in research dollars, number of researchers, and in specific, strategic domains such as AI. Can the US get away with not doing so? Can it still lead? Does it even currently lead? Many questions here, and a lot of change underway."

Thanks for listening. If you liked the show, subscribe at Futurized.org or in your preferred podcast player, and rate us with five stars. If you like this topic, you may enjoy other episodes of Futurized, such as episode 69 on the The Future of Quantum Security, episode 14 on Post-pandemic Tech, or episode 84 on The Origins and Future of Open Science.

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Melissa Flagg

Senior Fellow at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) at Georgetown University

Dr. Melissa Flagg is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) at Georgetown University and Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Geotech Center. Melissa is also a non-resident senior fellow at The Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Center. Previously she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research, responsible for policy and oversight of Defense Department science and technology programs including basic research through advanced technology development and the DoD laboratory enterprise. She has worked at the State Department, the Office of Naval Research, the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Army Research Laboratory.

Melissa also ran her own consulting business and was the Chief Technology Officer of a small consumer start-up. She has served on numerous boards including the National Academy of Sciences Air Force Studies Board, the Department of Commerce Emerging Technology Research Advisory Committee and the Board of Humanity 2050. She holds a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and a B.S. in Pharmacy.