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DoD’s Minerva Project Diving Deep Into Social Influence

Minerva is the Roman goddess of wisdom, strategic warfare, justice and law among other things.

In 2008, the United States Department of Defense ran with the goddess’ roles by creating the Minerva Research Initiative, that doles out grants to universities to study social science.

Initially the program was funded with $50 million and echoed the failed “Project Camelot” that was created in 1964 to predict and influence social change.

Project Camelot was shut down in 1965 amid controversy.

Today, Minerva Research Initiative is going exploring the future fringes of social change and offering grants related to nine topics which include “Humans and Outer Space,” “Social Implications of Environmental Change” and the “Social and Cultural Implications of Artificial Intelligence.”

Grants posted this month award $15 million to researchers of various topics like those above.

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In 2019, Minerva awarded grants to study covert online information campaigns and “power projection and subversion via malign influence campaigns” among others.  England’s Oxford University was one grant recipient to study the latter topic.

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