Women on Mass Destruction

Public Policy Lecture Series Fall 2015

The Reed College Public Policy Lecture Series continues its annual tradition of bringing compelling speakers to campus to address important issues of politics, policy, and political change.


This season’s series brings three eminent policy scholar-practitioners to Reed to help us understand the complex challenges and global risk politics of chemical attacks, autonomous weapons, and biological epidemics. Interested in the title? See Women on Mass Destruction: More than a Pun for more information.

All events are free and open to the public.


Rebecca Hersman
“Chemical Weapons Attacks in Syria: How Did We Get Here
and Where Do We Go?”

Wednesday, September 16
7 p.m., Vollum lecture hall

Rebecca Hersman photo

Rebecca Hersman is director of the Project on Nuclear Issues and senior adviser for the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Hersman joined CSIS in April 2015 from the Department of Defense (DoD), where she served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for countering weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In this capacity, she led DoD policy and strategy to prevent WMD proliferation and use, reduce and eliminate WMD risks, and respond to WMD dangers. Hersman was a key leader on issues ranging from the nuclear security summit and the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons to the global health security agenda. Hersman previously held the positions of senior research fellow with the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at the National Defense University, international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and special assistant to the undersecretary of defense for policy.

Sponsored by the Munk Darling Lecture Fund in International Relations.


Heather Roff
“Gendering a Warbot:
Potential Policy Fallout from Gendering Autonomous Weapons”

Monday, September 28
7 p.m., Vollum lecture hall

Heather Roff photo

Heather M. Roff is a Cybersecurity Fellow at the New America Foundation, an assistant teaching professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, and a research associate at the Eisenhower Center for Space and Defense Studies at the United States Air Force Academy. She is the author of Global Justice, Kant and the Responsibility to Protect (Routledge, 2013) and over a dozen articles. Her new book project, Lethal Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War, examines the moral, legal, and policy implications of this emerging technology. She blogs for the Huffington Post and the Duck of Minerva and has written for the Wall Street Journal and Slate Magazine.

Sponsored by the Elizabeth C. Ducey Political Science Lecture Fund.


Quest Article: Lecturer Warns Against Dangers of Gendering Military Robots.

Martina Morris ’80
“Zero Grazing:
What Uganda Can Teach Us about HIV Prevention”

Wednesday, November 4
7 p.m., Vollum lecture hall

Martina Morris photo

Martina Morris ’80 holds a joint appointment as professor in the departments of sociology and statistics at the University of Washington and is the founding director of the Sociobehavioral and Prevention Research Core in the UW Center for AIDS Research. Her recent research has focused on the development of statistical methods for network epidemiology. Morris co-leads an NIH-funded interdisciplinary team of statisticians, epidemiologists, and demographers who develop and implement innovative methodology and software for network modeling using the R statistical platform. They have been releasing these methodologies as the open-source software packages “statnet” for over a decade and are committed to providing public access to them. The most recent package is “EpiModel,” a platform that provides a single interface for all mathematical modeling of infectious diseases, from deterministic compartmental models to stochastic network models (the latter grounded in empirical estimation from egocentrically sampled network data).

Sponsored by the Elizabeth C. Ducey Political Science Lecture Fund.