The Formulation and Non-formulation of Security Concerns


Project Collaborators:

Professor Brian Rappert
(University of Exeter)

Professor Brian Balmer

Professor Malcolm Dando
(University of Bradford)

Dr. Sam Evans
(University of California, Berkeley)

Dr. Chandre Gould
(Institute for Security Studies)






This Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project seeks empirically and theoretically to assess what is not taking place in relation to the analysis of the implications of science for security. It will study what is not taking place in different case studies related to the potential for life science knowledge and techniques to serve destructive purposes. Through doing so, the project will consider how such cases can inform other studies of emerging areas of concern and how they can inform empirical social research in general.

A number of questions that address themes of ethical blindness, taken for granted assumptions, and the social basis of assessments will be central to this project, including:

* How, for who, between whom, and under what circumstances have some applications of science become rendered non-issues?
* What are the everyday routines, practices, social structures that shape this process?
* How have scientists, diplomats, security analysts, and others fostered attention to or distanced themselves from applications of their work?

The specific concern with the hostile application of the life sciences examined through the interdisciplinary programme of inquiry outlined in this application will serve as a springboard for addressing what is left outside professional and policy agendas. The ultimate impact anticipated from this project is to support efforts to prevent the malign use of life sciences and, thus, ensuring science and technology work to improve human security.

Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology; University of Exeter; Exeter EX4 4QJ; United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1392 723353