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Science and the military: live web chat

The military has long been one of the biggest investors in scientific research. Next week, Nature takes a close look at the US military-science complex.

Join us for a live web chat with some of the authors of our investigative pieces, online at 8am Pacific time, 11am Eastern time, Thursday 22 September. We’ll ask not just what science can do for the military (think bombs and robotic spy planes), but what the military can do for science (think of their amazing access to data). We’ll discuss whether scientists should feel ethically conflicted about working with the military; whether US Department of Defense funding is well spent, or soon to decline; and more. Send us your questions in advance so we can get our experts working on answers, and join us live on the day.

<iframe src=“” scrolling=“no” height=“550px” width=“470px” frameBorder =“0” allowTransparency=“true” >Science and the military: Beyond the bomb

Sign up below for a reminder e-mail, and use the comments section to let us know what questions you would like to see answered in the Q&A.


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    Rachel Smolker said:

    In general, it seems that military research is oriented towards enhancing warfare, not understanding or enhancing quality of life. This is a fundamental difference and it is therefore quite dusturbing to see the military taking so much lead in funding and directing research overall. I am particularly concerned about the growing military investment in development of bioenergy. The claim that biofuels will enhance energy security" is nonsense given the enormous amounts of plant material required to contribute even a small fraction of overall fuel demand. Related to this is military research into synthetic biology, which has the potential to be extremely dangerous given that we cannot effectively control reproduction of microorganisms once released. Among other concerns, military interests in synthetic biology are very disturbing.

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    Moises Cordova said:

    Greetings. I want to ask which is the number of scientists working in defense projects?