Keynote: Professor Derek Gregory
Derek Gregory is Peter Wall Distinguished Professor as well as Professor of Geography at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of numerous books, including Ideology, Science and Human Geography (1978), Regional Transformation and Industrial Revolution (1982), Geographical Imaginations (1989), and The Colonial Present: Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq (2004), as well as the co-editor of Violent Geographies: Fear, Terror, and Political Violence (2006). He is working on several new research projects, including Killing Space, a critical study of the techno-cultural and political dimensions of air war. It focuses on three major campaigns: the combined bombing offensive against Germany in the Second World War, America’s air wars over Indochina, and the present use of UAVs in Afghanistan/Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and elsewhere. It pays particular attention to the changing ways in which cities (and eventually people) have been visualized as targets within what is now called the ‘kill-chain,’ and to the different ways in which the media have represented and reported bombing to different publics. Dr. Gregory’s honours include honorary degrees from one of Europe’s youngest (Roskilde) and oldest (Heidelberg) universities, elections to the Royal Society of Canada and the British Academy, and the Founder’s Medal of the Royal Geographical Society.
Keynote: Dr Antoine Bousquet
Antoine Bousquet is Reader in International Relations at Birkbeck College, University of London. His work lies at the intersection of war and political violence, the history and philosophy of science and technology, and social and political theory in the digital age. He is the author of The Eye of War: Military Perception from the Telescope to the Drone (University of Minnesota Press, 2018) and The Scientific Way of Warfare: Order and Chaos on the Battlefields of Modernity (Hurst & Columbia University Press, 2009). He has contributed an array of peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on subjects that include Cold War computing, the revolution in military affairs, jihadist networks, complexity theory, violent aesthetics, nihilism, and the conceptualisation of war.
Workshop: Drone Wars UK
Chris Cole, Director
Chris Cole is the founder of Drone Wars UK. He is author of two important reports on the issue: Convenient Killing: Armed Drones and the PlayStation Mentality (2010) and Drone Wars: Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Out of Control (2016). In 2017 he authored a chapter entitled ‘Harm to Global Peace and Security’ in the book, The Humanitarian Impact of Drones. He has submitted evidence to various Parliamentary Committees on the use of drones, including the Defence Select Committee, the Joint Human Rights Committee and the Committee on Arms Export Controls and is regularly invited to speak to conferences, public meetings and the media on drones, targeted killing and remote warfare. He is convener of the Drones Campaign Network, a trustee of the Trust for Research and Education on Arms Trade (TREAT) and a board member of the international Catholic organisation, Pax Christi. He is a former Director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (2003 – 2010) and Joint Coordinator of Campaign against Arms Trade (1999 – 2003). He gained a Masters in Theology from Middlesex University in 2000 and lives in Oxford with his wife, Virginia and their children.
Dr Joanna Frew, Researcher
Joanna Frew has a MA in International Law and Development and a PhD in History. Prior to returning to academic study, she worked for an NGO for 10 years running training and campaigns for students on global peace and justice issues. After completing her PhD Joanna has been an occasional teacher on the history of the British empire, as well as working with refugees in London. With Drone Wars, she published a report on the proliferation of armed drones among a ‘second generation of operators’. This report was launched at the House of Commons in Westminster in May 2018 and since then she has begun research on the way in which drone use and targeted killing is communicated to the public in the UK, comparing that with US press and government communications.
Dr Peter Burt, Researcher
Before moving to Drone Wars UK Peter was Director for the Nuclear Information Service for six years, undertaking research into the costs and risks of the UK’s nuclear weapons service. At Nuclear Information Service he authored the influential reports ‘AWE: Britain’s nuclear weapons factory’ and ‘Playing with fire: Nuclear weapons incidents and accidents in the United Kingdom’ and is considered to be a leading expert on the UK’s nuclear accident history. At Drone Wars UK he works on issues relating to artificial intelligence and autonomy and their role in the future development of drones. Peter is also a Trustee the Nuclear Education Trust.