The 9th Workshop on the Social Implications of National Security

Theme: The Socio-Ethical Implications of Implantable Technologies in the Military Sector

Convenors: Katina Michael, M.G. Michael, Jai C. Galliot, Rob Nicholls

Venue: Richard Newton Conference Room, Level 5, Building 193, The University of Melbourne

Date: 12 July 2016

Workshop co-located with IEEE Norbert Wiener Conference

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Call for Abstracts

The military sector has been investing in nanotechnology solutions since their inception. Internal assessment committees in defense programmatically determine how much complex technology will be systematically diffused into the Armed Forces. The broad term nanotechnology is used to encompass a variety of innovations from special paint markers that can determine unique identity to RFID implants in humans. With the purported demand for these new materials, we have seen the development of a fabrication process that has catapulted a suite of advanced technologies in the military marketplace. These technologies were once the stuff of science fiction- everything from exoskeletons to wearable headsets with accelerated night vision, to armaments that have increased in durability in rugged conditions with the ability to be commanded centrally and without human intervention. But what of the emergence of the so-named supersoldier, a type of Iron Man? 

This workshop will focus on humancentric implantable technologies in the military sector. The key questions it will seek to discuss with respect to implants include: (1) What are the social implications of new proposed security technologies? (2) What are the rights of soldiers who are contracted to the defense forces? (3) Does local military law override the rights provided under the rule of law in a given jurisdiction, and thus, what are the possible legal implications? (4) How pervasive are these technologies in society at large? (5) And what might be some of the side effects experienced by personnel in using these devices that have not yet been tested under conditions of war and conflict? More broadly the workshop seeks to understand the socio-ethical implications (community), social contract (individual), and stakeholder (industry/government) perspectives.

This one day workshop invites multidisiplinary views from experts in the nanotechnology space.


Workshop Series Background

The Social Implications of National Security workshop series began in 2006 funded by the Australian Research Council, Research Network for a Secure Australia. The RNSA funded the workshop until 2012, and spear-headed the "Human Factor Series" for the lifetime of the research network. Its proceedings have been deposited in a variety of key stakeholders, including the National Library, the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, the Commisioner for Law Enforcement Data Security in Victoria and the NSW Police Academy libraries of Australia. The workshops have been hosted in Wollongong, Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Toronto. There have been representatives from government, industry, defense, emergency services organisations, academia, and society at large at each of the workshops.


Program Schedule

  • 9.00 AM Registration
    • 9.15 AM Welcome and Introduction, Professor Katina Michael
    • 9.45 AM Keynote Speaker: Professor R.E. Burnett, National Defense University
  • 10.30 AM Morning Tea
    • 11.00 AM Professor Donna Dulo, Sofia University
    • 11.30 AM Dr Jai C. Galliot, Soldier Enhancement, University of New South Wales
    • 12.00 PM Associate Professor Diana Bowman, Nanotechnology Regulation for the Brain, Arizona State University
  • 12.30 PM Lunch
    • 1.30 PM Dr Rain Liivoja, Humanitarian Law, University of Melbourne
    • 2.00 PM Tim McFarland, University of Melbourne
    • 2.30 PM Panel (Includes Professor Marcus Wigan, Mr Lindsay Robertson and Mr Jordan Brown)
    • 3.30 PM Kayla HeffernanHCI, Design & Implants, University of Melbourne
  • 4.00 PM Afternoon Tea
  • 6.00 PM Dinner (walk to venue)


Invitations for Participation

Direct invitations for participation (over the Internet, or face-to-face in Melbourne) will shortly be sent out to the following researchers and practitioners:

Alan Rubel, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Alexander Hayes, University of Wollongong

Amal Graafstra,

Andrew Goldsmith, Flinders University

Ann Light, University of Sussex

Avner Levin, Ryerson University

Charlotte Epstein, University of Sydney

Christine Perakslis, Johnson and Wales University (*contacted: checking schedule)

Daniel Ratner, Engineer and technology entrepreneur (*contacted: awaiting reply)

Darren Palmer, Deakin University (*contacted: awaiting reply)

David Forbes, University of Melbourne (*contacted: awaiting reply)

David Vaile, UNSW

Diana Bowman, University of Michigan (* speaking)

Donna Dulo, Sofia University (*contacted: deliberating)

Eleni Kosta, Tilburg University

Ellen McGee, Ethics consultant (private practice) (*contacted: declined)

Emmeline Taylor, Australian National University

Eugene Kaspersky, Kaspersky Labs

Fritz Allhoff, Western Michigan University

Gary Retherford, Six Sigma Security

Gary T. Marx, MIT

Geoffrey Spinks, University of Wollongong

George Conti (*contacted: unavailable the week of 12th July)

Gordon Wallace, University of Wollongong

Herman Tavani, Rivier College

Ian Warren, Deakin University

Isabel Pederson, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Jackie Craig, Defence Science Technology Group

Jairus Grove, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Jennifer Seberry, University of Wollongong

Jeremy Pitt, Imperial College London

Jill Slay, UNSW Canberra

Kayla Heffernan, University of Melbourne (*speaking)

Katherine Albrecht, CASPIAN

Kaylene Manwaring, UNSW

Kevin Warwick, Coventry University

Keith Miller, University of Missouri - St. Louis

Kobi Leins (*contacted: in flight transit, submitting abstract)

Lisa Shay, West Point Military College (*contacted: declined as in special training)

Liz McIntyre, CASPIAN

Lyria Bennet Moses, UNSW

Lucy Resnyansky, DSTO

Lindsay Robertson, UOW (*speaking)

Luis Kun, National Defense University (*contacted: awaiting reply)

Marcus Wigan, Swinburne University (*speaking)

Mark Andrejevic, University of Queensland

Mark Burden, University of Queensland

Mark Gasson, University of Reading

Mark Ratner, Northwestern University

Max Michaud-Shields, Deputy Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment (*contacted: awaiting reply)

Mianna Lotz, Macquarie University

Michael Eldred,

Mirielle Hildebrandt, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Nick O'Brien, Charles Sturt University

Parag Khanna, New America Foundation

Patrick Lin, California Polytechnic State University (*contacted: declined, on holiday)

Peter W. Singer,  New America Foundation

Rain Liivoja, University of Melbourne (*speaking)

Ramona Pringle, Ryerson University

R.E. Burnett, National Defense University (*keynote)

Rafael Capurro, University of Tsukuba, Japan

Rebecca Hester, Virginia Tech University (*contacted: deliberating)

Roba Abbas, University of Wollongong

Roger Bradbury, Australian National University

Roger Clarke, Australian National University

Rob Sparrow, Monash University (*contacted: declined based on workload)

Sharon Bradley-Munn, University of Wollongong (* speaking)

Simon Bronitt, University of Queensland

Susan Dodds, University of Tasmania

Tamara Bonaci, University of Washington

Thomas James Oxley, University of Melbourne (*contacted: cannot make it due to training)

Tim McCormack, Harvard University (*contacted: declined as in flight transit)

William A. Herbert, Hunter College CUNY (*contacted: declined due to other projects)