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Current areas of work

Is this a threat?

When should a society be concerned about the security aspects of its innovation pathways, and when should it not be concerned? This long-term project explores this question over several technical areas (such as computing, synthetic biology, and cryptography) and in a variety of governance settings, including labs, student competitions, funding bodies, and national and international government bodies. There is no easy answer to the question of when something is a… Read More »Is this a threat?

Modes of engagement for STS scholars

A continual question amongst the Science and Technology Studies (STS) community (as well as in anthropology and related disciplines) is how to manage relationships with the subjects of our studies. Those of us conducting research on contemporary topics often need to reflect on our roles in shaping the work that we are then studying, and how to navigate the need for analytic distance and the need for close proximity to… Read More »Modes of engagement for STS scholars

Security concerns in synthetic biology

Synthetic biology, the purposeful engineering of organisms, may or may not pose security concerns to people, states, and the environment. Whether it does, and what is done about it, are the subject of this area of work. I use a mix of participant observation, ethnography, textual and discourse analysis, and interviews to understand and engage with the synthetic biology community (including government, synthetic biologists, industry, other social scientists, and NGOs).… Read More »Security concerns in synthetic biology