By Noah Shachtman
Chief Scientists of the Air Force usually spend their time trying to figure out how to build better satellites or make jets go insanely fast. Which makes Dr. Mark Maybury, today’s chief scientist, a bit of an outlier. He’d like to build a set of sensors that peer into people’s souls — and forecast wars before they erupt.
Maybury calls his vision “Social Radar.” And the comparison to traditional sensors is no accident, he tells Danger Room. “The Air Force and the Navy in this and other countries have a history of developing Sonar to see through the water, Radar to see through the air, and IR [infrared] to see through the night. Well, we also want to see into the hearts and the minds of people,” says Maybury, who serves as the top science advisor to the Air Force’s top brass.