Artifact Details


Imagineers of War

Catalog Number



Moving image




Markoff, John, Moderator
Weinberger, Sharon, Speaker


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, CA




From Agent Orange to Predator drones, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has developed some of the world’s most infamous warfare technologies. However, this testing ground for solving the Pentagon’s biggest challenges has also created digital tools we rely on daily, like the internet and graphical user interfaces. Today, the agency’s work is at the forefront of innovation in robotics and autonomous driving. How has DARPA played such a quiet—yet impactful—role in the development of both military and civilian technology?

Journalist and author Sharon Weinberger’s newest book, The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, is a comprehensive look at the history and modern impact of DARPA. She follows the agency from its founding in response to the Sputnik launch in 1958 to its recent success in self-driving cars. Weinberger’s account is drawn from interviews with dozens of Pentagon and DARPA officials (many of whom have never been interviewed about their work before), as well as public records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

As a journalist and author covering the intersection of national security, science, and technology, Weinberger’s job is reporting on “War 2.0.” She is the national security editor at The Intercept and the author of Imaginary Weapons: A Journey Through the Pentagon’s Scientific Underworld. She is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Weinberger has written about military science and technology for Nature, BBC, Discover, Slate, Wired, and The Washington Post, among others.

During the event Sharon Weinberger shares her most riveting findings about DARPA’s history and her vision for its future.




Computer History Museum

Lot Number