The crucial roles science and scientists can play during war are known and documented. After all, weapons are a key to victory in any war, and generally it is scientists who develop them. In World War II, for example, the atomic bomb and radar directly resulted from scientific research and development. Scientists also developed techniques and tools for code breaking and made contributions in a variety of other areas. Less obvious, but equally important, many scientists advise governments during war, thereby influencing strategy and broader policies.

Scientists, however, have also been important in aiding peace efforts between states. Much less is known about the roles scientists have played in preventing or mitigating conflict between countries or in normalizing relations and maintaining stability after a conflict has occurred. Nevertheless, scientists may have much to offer in these areas.

How scientists interact with governments in mitigating conflict is thus relatively clear. More...

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