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In this episode of Voices from DARPA, sociocultural anthropologist Adam Russell, a program manager with the Agency’s Defense Sciences Office (DSO), discusses his vision for a range of technologies that could help usher in a next-generation social science. At the crux of this future view are novel experimental designs, practices, and tools to tackle research challenges that traditionally have limited the value of social science for national security. Russell believes these advances may help yield scientific results that are far more reliable, validated, predictive, and otherwise valuable for making decisions and basing actions than has been the case to date. Among the emerging and morphing issues that affect national security, and for which Russell says new approaches in social sciences might help, is the way modern environments can impact social identities and the choices people and groups make based on those identities. Contributing to his own self identifications, and to his cognitive style as a scientist, are his experiences as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and a national-level rugby player.
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