John R. Emery

All CISAC People Pre- and Post-doc Fellows
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John R. Emery

  • Stanton Postdoctoral Fellow


John R. Emery holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine. His research focuses broadly on the intersection of ethics of war, security studies and technology. Specifically, current projects are based on archival research at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA exploring 1950's nuclear wargaming and how notions of social science and deterrence theory were contested between wargaming as art or science. By examining this concrete historical case of new technologies of war and improving social scientific methodologies, he proffers insights into contemporary dilemmas of military AI and ethics of war today.

John was formerly a Tobis Fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality at University of California, Irvine. There, he explored the rise of collateral damage estimation algorithms in the U.S. Air Force, and how socio-technical interactions impact ethics of due care in war. Previous work on drones, ethics, counter-terrorism, and just war is published in Critical Military Studies, Ethics & International Affairs, and Peace Review. In 2017-2018 he was awarded the NSF-funded Technology, Law and Society Fellowship to undertake an interdisciplinary study of the impact of AI, Big Data, and blockchain on law and society scholarship.