Keynote: Professor Derek Gregory
Derek Gregory was educated at the University of Cambridge (PhD 1981) and moved to the University of British Columbia at Vancouver in 1989 as Professor of Geography; he was appointed Peter Wall Distinguished Professor in 2011. His early research focused on industrialisation in Yorkshire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but since moving to Canada his work has involved successive elaborations of “The Colonial Present” –– see the book of the same title –– and most recently its traces in the conduct of later modern war. He is presently completing a new book, “Reach from the Sky: Aerial violence and the everywhere war”, which provides a genealogy and a geography of bombing from the First World War to today’s air wars (especially in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and Pakistan’s borderlands). His current research concerns the evacuation and treatment of casualties in war zones, again from the First World War to Afghanistan and Syria today, but it also intersects with the analysis of aerial violence through an expose of air strikes on hospitals, clinics and medical workers over the same period. These issues will be treated at length in another new book, “Purple Testament: wounded bodies and precarious journeys”. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Canada, and was awarded the Founder’s Medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 2006.
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.