Sam Weiss Evans

Senior Research Fellow, Program on Science, Technology & Society
Affiliate Fellow, Program on Emerging Technology
Research Affiliate, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge
Lecturer, Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences & Fellow, Program in Science, Technology and Society
Affiliate Fellow, Program on Emerging Technology
Research Affiliate, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

My research analyzes how groups decide an area of science or technology is a security concern and how that’s tied to the governance systems in which those decisions are made. Topically, I am currently focused on the governance of security concerns in early stage research in biology and other areas, including artificial intelligence.


Current Areas of Work

When should a society be concerned about the security aspects of its innovation pathways, and what should it do about it? 


How do Science and Technology Studies (STS) scholars manage relations with the subjects of their studies?


Since around 2012, I have been developing a focus on security governance in biology, especially synthetic biology


Multilateral export controls for much of the Cold War centered on the Coordinating Committee (CoCom). I maintain a digital archive of the British versions of the CoCom lists from 1954-1994.


Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, 4th edition

Knowledge and Security

The new Handbook of Science and Technology Studies is now available, and I was lucky enough to work with a set of colleagues on a chapter about “Knowledge and Security”.…

Biosecurity Governance for the Real World

Current efforts to limit the dissemination of dual-use biological research results are rooted in simplistic understandings of how such knowledge becomes dangerous. I argue in an article appearing in the Fall…

Book chapter on ‘Taking Care’ in synthetic biology

Synthetic biology, from its early stages of development, has had an explicit focus on biosafety and biosecurity concerns. These concerns are being identified and addressed in different ways, including strategies…


Review of Controls for Emerging Technology

The US Government is asking for advice on how to identify and define emerging technology of security concern. You have until 19 December 2018 to provide your comments.

Get in touch

You can also email me at sam at