Insights from Our Experts

Recent Commentaries, Interviews, and Multimedia

  • What Could Liquid Biopsy Do for Oncology in the UK and What Is Needed to Realise Its Potential?

    Liquid biopsy has the potential to provide better and quicker testing for cancer, helping to improve diagnosis and treatment and improving cancer outcomes overall. As potential useful tests emerge, now is the time to consider what is needed to put them into everyday practice across the NHS.

    17 Apr 2024

  • Carrots, Sticks, and Sermons Are Not Enough: Productivity in the UK's Public Sector

    Productivity improvement across the UK public sector has stalled in recent years. There are two main ways to address this productivity puzzle: Reducing costs, and innovative system change focussed on delivering more value with the same inputs.

    10 Apr 2024

  • What Sweden's Accession Means for NATO

    Russia's failed invasion of Ukraine pushed neutral Sweden to embrace a role in NATO's collective defence and security. With this addition, NATO's toolkit gains Sweden's ground and air combat, nearshore and undersea warfare capabilities, as well as the country's expertise in niche areas such as cold weather operations.

    22 Mar 2024

  • Artificial Intelligence and Biotechnology: Risks and Opportunities

    Machine learning is helping scientists make sense of the genetic keys that could unlock new crops, new drugs, and vaccines. But policymakers may not be prepared for the impact those two fields could have together. To make the most of the opportunities to come, and to avoid the dangers, that has to change.

    21 Mar 2024

  • Pace Through Integration? UK Defence Attempts Procurement Reform, Again

    The Ukraine war has exposed a challenge: How can allies gear their defence industries up to deliver materiel to Ukraine while remaining fit for purpose at home? By introducing a new procurement model, the UK Ministry of Defence aims to integrate lessons learned from past programmes.

    20 Mar 2024

  • Relationships with Netherlands Neighbours Would Set the Course of Walrus Replacement

    The Netherlands recently commissioned a French company to replace the Royal Navy's four Walrus submarines. Economic and strategic considerations play a role in the decision, but policy safeguards will ensure that even a non-Dutch bidder returns industrial benefits.

    15 Mar 2024

  • Undersea Infrastructure Needs Better Protection

    The seabed hosts a large number of subsea cables and pipelines that provide communications services and oil, gas, and electricity to our societies. But this critical undersea infrastructure is vulnerable, and much of it has no specific defence mechanisms. What steps can be taken to protect it?

    11 Mar 2024

  • As Europe's Peace Unravels, Czech Republic Ties Its Defence More Tightly to NATO

    The Czech Republic's new defence strategy emphasises its commitment to its allies and Ukraine at a time when NATO's cohesion is being challenged by both domestic and external factors.

    11 Mar 2024

  • The Paradox of LGB+ Employment Status According to the UK Census

    Data from the 2021 Census of England and Wales show that gay and lesbian adults are more likely to be employed than heterosexual adults—but also that they are more likely to be unemployed than heterosexual adults. What caused this paradox? And how can these statistics be better understood?

    21 Feb 2024

  • Directed Energy Dilemmas

    Directed energy weapons (DEW) are part of a layered approach to integrated air and missile defence. But with wide-ranging and disruptive implications for defence budgets and for industry that have only just begun to be considered, could the military impact of this possible DEW revolution be just the tip of the iceberg?

    20 Feb 2024

  • Two Years After Russia Invaded Ukraine: Q&A with RAND Experts

    RAND experts discuss the state of the conflict in Ukraine and its prospects, the war's global implications, possible outcomes and solutions, and what the West and the rest of the world might be doing now and once hostilities end.

    19 Feb 2024

  • How Finland Approaches Its New NATO Role Is a Key Decision for the New President

    Finland's presidential election is complete, and Alexander Stubb is the winner. As the president holds executive power to set foreign and security policy, as well as commanding the military, NATO countries are watching closely to see which course their newfound ally will chart.

    14 Feb 2024

  • Public Finance Initiative Problems? The Challenges of Long-Term Defence Acquisition in a Rapidly Changing World

    Future-proofing defense equipment acquisition remains a perplexing and wicked problem for policymakers, but one that merits ever greater attention. Acquisition decisionmakers would benefit from greater use of robust decisionmaking tools and methods to help them identify options that could increase the UK's operational (and financial) resilience for multiple different futures.

    06 Feb 2024

  • Lessons for Industrial Resilience: The UK's Typhoon Export Conundrum

    If Turkey steps back from its pursuit of the Typhoon, it would join India, South Korea, Finland, the UAE, and Switzerland on the list of countries to decline acquisition of the four-nation collaborative platform jointly exported by the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The United Kingdom and Germany have the most to gain, or lose, from the Typhoon's success.

    02 Feb 2024

  • Preparing for the Potential Rollout of New Alzheimer's Drugs: Towards a Policy, Research, and Innovation Agenda

    Several promising new drugs appear to slow cognitive decline in individuals with early-stage Alzheimer's disease. A number of challenges need to be addressed to ensure their successful rollout, but there are also opportunities for health innovation.

    30 Jan 2024

  • The Promise and Peril of AI in the Power Grid

    Artificial intelligence is poised to transform how electricity is produced and consumed. But as with any new technology, its use comes with hidden risks and challenges that must be addressed.

    26 Jan 2024

  • Directed Energy: The Focus on Laser Weapons Intensifies

    Directed energy weapons offer a more cost-efficient means of dealing with fast-proliferating threats. If the technology can be matured, such systems could tip both the military and economic calculus of modern warfare in their users' favor.

    25 Jan 2024

  • Assessing the Value of Publicly Funded Earth Observation Programmes in the United Kingdom

    Satellite-based earth observation (EO) technologies play a critical role across the world, from monitoring climate change to assessing the situation during crises such as extreme weather events. As the United Kingdom invests in space technology and participates in international agreements, effectively demonstrating the value of these investments remains a top priority.

    23 Jan 2024

  • The Search for a High Seas Solution

    While Western military action against the Houthis has increased, the Red Sea crisis is sailing through opaque waters. Short-term military action might help with the immediate crisis, but shipping routes will remain vulnerable unless the world recognizes its exposure to threats and cooperates to defend them.

    17 Jan 2024

  • Germany's New Plans for Transforming Its Defence and Foreign Policy Are Bold. They Are Also Running Into Familiar Problems

    Germany's new defence policy guidelines mark a seismic transformation in German military strategy, away from diplomacy and dialogue, towards defence and deterrence. But as the country seeks to be more assertive on the international stage, there may be resistance at home.

    17 Jan 2024