Staff Directory

July18

Contact Details

Qualifications

BA (York), MA (London), PhD (Cardiff), DPhil (Oxon)

About

OVERVIEW

I am a sociologist and philosopher. My research is about technologies and human life, particularly how contemporary technological objects and systems are fundamentally re-tooling our social spaces and everyday lives. This includes artificial intelligence, robotics, automation, and digital data and media, where my focus in on the ethical and social consequences of these emergent technologies.

I am currently working on two book projects. The first is about robots and social life, which looks at the fictional, ethical, philosophical, and applied aspects of robots and their likely introduction across many areas of society: something much desired by governments and corporations around the world. The second is about how ‘speculative earths’ – that is, imagined versions of our planet – are central and contested features in our understanding of the contemporary human condition, especially concerning sustainability, technology, energy, culture, and anticipations of the future.

TEACHING

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 welcome PhD applicants on topics that relate to my research interests.

BIOGRAPHY

I joined USW in December 2016 while completing a doctorate in Philosophy and Technology at Keble College, University of Oxford. I also hold a PhD in Sociology from Cardiff University, where I was an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow. I previously worked as a Senior Manager in Research Resources for the Economic and Social Research Council (2012-13) and have researched and taught at a number of other universities, including the Open University, Bristol University and Leeds University.

Experience

I am an expert in technological innovation for the Communications Networks, Content and Technology Unit, in the European Commission

Responsibilities

Course Leader BSc Sociology
Questioning Everyday Life
Classical Sociological Theory
Global Studies

Publications

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Mellor, D. (2020) Artificial Intelligence in the Rose Garden, working paper, University of South Wales

Mellor, D. and C. Müller (2019) ‘Technology and the Social: Utopia Inverted’, Thesis Eleven

Mellor, D. (2019) Cybersecurity Anthropotechnics: Social Immunology, Future Ethics, and the Digital Technosphere, DPhil thesis, University of Oxford

Mellor, D. (2018) ‘The Riddle of Holistic Cybersecurity’ Cyber Security Yearbook, University of Oxford

Memberships

British Sociological Association – I am a previous trustee and membership director

External

Visiting lecturer in Cross-Disciplinary Research Methods, CDT Cyber Security, University of Oxford

Human Centred Computing Theme, University of Oxford

Consultancy

Communications Networks, Content and Technology Unit, European Commission

Consultant in Human Factors in Cybersecurity, The Prometheus Project, SBL (Software Box Ltd.)

Research

EPSRC funded DPhil ‘Cybersecurity anthropotechnics’ 2013-2018, Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford

Areas of Expertise

Social and ethical implications of technological development, particularly AI and robotics
Responsible research and innovation
Politics, policies, and orientations towards the future
Science fiction and the technological imagination

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