Science and Security Programme

The DUN Project is funded as part of the £2.1 million Science and Security Programme funded under the RCUK Global Uncertainties Programme where new research is being commissioned  to develop greater understanding of how developments in science and technology (S&T) will present opportunities and threats to future UK defence and security.  ‘Science and Security’ brings together the activities of the seven UK Research Councils in response to global security challenges. The programme examines the causes of insecurity and how security risks and threats can be predicted, prevented and managed. All research funded focuses on how the risks to defence and security that emerge from future developments in S&T can better be assessed and addressed and the influence of cultural, historical, ethical, economic and societal factors on how S&T is developed and utilised in future to present opportunities and threats for defence and security.  


This research is jointly commissioned by The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) Futures and Innovation Domain and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Successful grant holders including the D.U.N Project are:

Research Integrator

  • Professor Stuart Croft, University of Warwick – Science and Security: Research Impact and Co-Production of Knowledge

Research Grants

  • Professor David Denney, Royal Holloway, University of London – The Current and Future Use of Social Media Technologies (SMT) on Military Personnel and their Families
  • Professor Brian Rappert, University of Exeter – The Formulation and Non-formulation of Security Concerns: Preventing the Destructive Application of the Life Sciences
  • Professor Guglielmo Verdirame, King’s College London – SNT Really Makes Reality: Technological Innovation, Non-Obvious Warfare and the Challenges to International Law
  • Dr Sarah Maltby, University of Sussex – Defence, Uncertainty, Now Media (D.U.N): Mapping Social Media in Strategic Communications
  • Professor Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics & Political Science – Strategic Governance of Science and Technology Pathways to Security
  • Professor David Galbreath, University of Bath – Biochemical security 2030 – towards improved science-based multilevel governance
  • Professor Nicholas Wheeler, University of Birmingham – The Political Effects of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles on Conflict and Cooperation within and between States
  • Dr Andrew James, The University of Manchester – Science and technology in the service of the State: Understanding mission-oriented research systems in a changing world
  • Dr Michael Bourne, Queen’s University of Belfast – HANDHOLD: Science, Security and Power in Action

ESRC Chief Executive Paul Boyle said: “This Programme provides an excellent opportunity for social science, arts and humanities research to play a role in developing a greater understanding of how developments in S&T might present risks to future UK defence and security“.

Dstl Futures and Innovation Domain Leader, Mel Murphy said: “This Programme will enable the future challenges facing defence and security to be assessed from a strong trans-disciplinary perspective. We are delighted that the collaboration between Dstl and the Global Uncertainties Programme has enabled us to harness excellence across UK academia to benefit defence and security while maximising the efficient use of research funds.

AHRC’s Associate Director of Programmes Gary Grubb said “This Programme has provided a welcome opportunity for arts and humanities researchers to undertake cross-disciplinary research critically reflecting on the legal and ethical dimensions and assumptions surrounding scientific and technological innovation and will make a valuable contribution to AHRC’s Science in Culture theme as well as to the cross-Council Global Uncertainties Programme
For more information visit the Science and Security Programme website