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Like Nuclear Physicists in the 1940s

In an opinion piece for New Scientist, Tom Leinster argues that in the age of mass surveillance, mathematicians can no longer ignore the ethical implications of their work.

Leinster compares the situation of today's mathematicians to that of nuclear physicists in the 1940s. At least the physicists knew they were building the atom bomb, though; mathematicians often have only the foggiest idea of how their work will be used.

"At a bare minimum, we mathematicians should talk about this," Leinster writes. "Maybe we should go further."

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Start Date: 
Friday, May 9, 2014

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