Steve Rogers was just an ordinary young man who tried to enlist to fight in World War II but was turned away due to health problems. Until, that is, he was approached by a Defense Department scientist who injected him with a special serum that turned him into the perfect specimen of military strength and stamina: Captain America.
When Marvel’s beloved comic book hero was first introduced in 1941, such a biological upgrade was strictly in the realm of fiction. But now, some say it’s the next chapter in warfare, and one that will be here sooner than you might think. The field of biological enhancements for the warfighter encompasses everything from dietary supplements and neural stimulation to bionic limbs and brain augmentation, and it raises a horde of new questions about ethics in the military and society. Increasingly, the dominant questions on the threshold of military technological development are becoming not, what can we do, but what should we do, and what happens if we go too far.
On this episode we’re joined by Dr. Peter Emanuel, U.S. Army Senior Scientist for bioengineering and Dr. Diane DiEuliis, Senior Research fellow at National Defense University. In 2019, they co-authored a paper on the Cyborg Soldier — the result of a Secretary of Defense red team task force exploring the future of man-machine enhancements and the warfighter of 2050.
Learn much more about cyborg soldier technology and current research at Military.com.