Producing Knowledge at the Interface of Academia and Intelligence

Monday, February 15, 2016: 9:00 AM-10:30 AM
Marriott Balcony B (Marriott Wardman Park)
Kathleen Vogel, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
The Laboratory for Analytic Sciences (LAS) is a long-term, collaborative, classified and unclassified research enterprise involving government, academia, and industry partners. It is funded by the National Security Agency (NSA) and housed on North Carolina State University’s campus. LAS organizes interdisciplinary research on the science of big data analytics and intelligence analysis that will advance NSA’s abilities to collect, understand, and interpret foreign communications, radar, and other electronic systems to protect against U.S. national security threats. The kind and scope of interdisciplinary work that LAS is creating is ambitious and unprecedented and may revolutionize the way intelligence collection and analysis is conducted. This setting provides an opportune moment to study first-hand interdisciplinary knowledge production in intelligence as an unfolding natural experiment---in which personnel, projects, management decisions, team structures, and resources are changing over time.  Based on lessons learned, this research model could be optimized and replicated elsewhere for intelligence or for other interdisciplinary S&T collaborations. This talk will discuss both the opportunities and challenges in establishing LAS at NC State and what is learned about interdisciplinary knowledge production through this real-time experiment.