David Mellor known as Senior Lecturer in Sociology
BA (York), MA (Goldsmiths), PhD (Cardiff), DPhil (Oxford – ongoing)
I am the course leader for the BSc Sociology in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. I teach across several modules on the course and provide tutorial and dissertation supervision to undergraduate and masters level students.
I work at the nexus of philosophy, social theory, cultural analysis, and policy and technology studies. In short, I would probably describe myself as a philosophical sociologist.
My current project involves the development of a ‘cybersecurity anthropotechnics’: a theoretical and political approach to the ‘super wicked problem’ of the integration of humans and digital machines. It considers how humans and technics are essentially entangled, how cyber-technics inform and shape our social imaginary and technological anticipations, and how the securities of cyber are broad civilizational and existential issues.
Cybersecurity anthropotechnics therefore focuses on how we might better consider the constitutive effect of this digital integration process on humanity, so both philosophically and methodologically it draws on a liberal arts approach of ‘encircling’ the problem using analytic tools that cross the rigid boundaries of disciplines.
There are four key themes to my current work: 1) immunology, which draws on the work of Peter Sloterdijk and Bernard Stiegler to form an onto-political position concerning the formation of humanity through and with technics; 2) the android imaginary, which concerns how technics flourish as aspects of modern social imaginaries, with particular emphasis on the figure of the android, or artificial person; 3) the Technosphere, which examines the contemporary planetary reality and world-view of technology, especially the techno-scene, the political-ethical realm of speculation and debate; 4) futurity, which concerns the design ethics for the future, and our need for strategic, imaginative, pragmatic approaches to the integration of humans and digital machines.
I previously worked as a Senior Manager in Research Resources for the Economic and Social Research Council.
I also worked in Sociology and Education Studies, holding research positions at Bristol University, Leeds University, and Cardiff University.
Course Leader BSc Sociology
Global Ethics – MSc Global Governance
Mellor, D. (2017) ‘Should Robots Commit Crimes?’ British Society of Criminology, Cardiff University, 17th May
Mellor, D. (2017) ‘Machines and Automation: Welcome address’, Machines and Automation: Perspectives on Labour, Surveillance and Warfare. Capitalist, Ideology and Crisis research cluster symposium, School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University, 5th May
Mellor, D. (2017) ‘On Technical Health: Design principles for the future’, Being Responsible in Research: Opportunities and Challenges. ZOON Project Workshop, St Cross College, University of Oxford, 28th March
Mellor, D. (2017) ‘What is Cybersecurity? On Anthrobotics and Anthropotechnics’, Anthrobotics European Workshop, University of Edinburgh, 21st March
Mellor, D. (2017) ‘Cybersecurity Anthropotechnics: Engaging with the World-Size Robot’, Informatics Forum, University of Edinburgh, 3rd March
Mellor, D. (2016) ‘Cybersecurity and the growth of the technosphere’, Where are we now? Temporalities of Globalisation conference, University of Amsterdam, 15th December
Mellor, D. (2016) ‘Meat the machines: hopes and fears’ AHRC Being Human Festival, De Montfort University, Leicester, 18th November
Mellor, D. (2016) ‘Fallen robots and the android imagination’, Fantasies of Contemporary Culture symposium, School of English, Communication and Philosophy, Cardiff University, 23rd May
Mellor, D. (2016) ‘In the cyber war to come, your face will be a weapon’, Fiction and the Social Imaginary conference, Department of Sociology, University of York, 14th March
Mellor, D. (2015) ‘Speculative cybersecurity and the future defence of virtual worlds’, Cyber Security workshop, University of Warwick, 14th October
Mellor, D. (2015) ‘When humanity is enslaved, don’t say I didn’t warn you’, Early Career Research Symposium, Cyber Security Oxford, 1st October
Mellor, D. (2015) ‘Cybersecurity and Philosophy: New problems and concepts’, Public Research Showcase, CDT Oxford, 30th September
Mellor, D. (2015) ‘”Hello World”: The future of humans, computers and machines’, Cheltenham Science Festival, 12th June
Mellor, D. (2015) ‘What if robots are our future?’ Cheltenham Science Festival, 12th June
Mellor, D. (2015) ‘Science Fictions and Network Aesthetics’, Human Centred Computing Group Conference, Department of Computer Science, Oxford University, 15th January
British Sociological Association
EPSRC funded DPhil ‘Cybersecurity anthropotechnics’ 2013-2017, Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford
Anthrobotics Reseach Cluster, University of Edinburgh
Human Centred Computing Group, University of Oxford
Areas of Expertise
Social and ethical implications of technological development
Responsible research and innovation
Politics, policies, and orientations towards the future
Science fiction and the technological imagination
If you are a journalist on deadline and you need to speak with a member of university staff with particular expertise, please contact the Press Office.