Oxford academic joins distinguished North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) expert group
14 April 2020
Dr Mariarosaria Taddeo, a leading academic from the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, has been appointed as a member – officially representing the UK – of the new Exploratory Team on Operational Ethics, established under the auspices of the Human Factors and Medicine (HFM) panel of the NATO Science and Technology Organization (STO). “With more than 5,000 active subject matter experts, the STO is one of the world’s largest networks of defence and security researchers from government, academia or industry.
Dr Mariarosaria Taddeo, Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director, Oxford Ethics Lab at the Oxford Internet Institute, will represent the UK as a member of the ‘NATO Human Factors and Medicine Exploratory Team (NATO HFM ET) ‘Operational Ethics: Preparation and Interventions for the Future Security Environment’.
NATO’s Exploratory Teams bring together a group of selected experts representing interested NATO countries to develop proposals for a multi-year collaborative plan of work in a specialist area relating to security and defence.
The newly created NATO Human Factors and Medicine Exploratory Team will meet for the first time later this year for detailed discussions to understand the impact of the ethical dimensions of warfare on the mental health and well-being of military personnel, as well as considering how emerging methods and technologies can be used to better prepare military personnel for the ethical challenges of deployed operations and, where necessary, provide interventions when soldiers return home.
Dr. Mariarosaria Taddeo, Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director, Oxford Ethics Lab, Oxford Internet Institute, part of the University of Oxford said:
“I am honoured to have been asked to represent the UK in this NATO Exploratory Team. Digital technologies are transforming the way conflicts are waged, offering new opportunities and posing new risks. It is crucial we consider how we use these technologies effectively for defence purposes and at the same time ensure that their use complies with the principles of just war theories and values of military ethics. This view has shaped my research in this area for the past decade and I look forward to contributing to the team with my expertise”.
Dr Megan Thompson, Defence Scientist, Defence Research and Development Canada and Chair of the NATO ET said:
“I am delighted that Dr Mariarosaria Taddeo, of the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford has agreed to become a member of this exploratory research team. The work and impact of this ET will benefit greatly from her experience and expertise to better understand the nature and impact of the ethical issues in operations that soldiers face now and in the future and to develop ways to assist them in this important area in the future.”
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About the OII
The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) is a multidisciplinary research and teaching department of the University of Oxford, dedicated to the social science of the Internet. Drawing from many different disciplines, the OII works to understand how individual and collective behaviour online shapes our social, economic and political world. Since its founding in 2001, research from the OII has had a significant impact on policy debate, formulation and implementation around the globe, as well as a secondary impact on people’s wellbeing, safety and understanding. Drawing on many different disciplines, the OII takes a combined approach to tackling society’s big questions, with the aim of positively shaping the development of the digital world for the public good. https://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/
 Adapted from https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/pdf_2019_09/20190905_190905-STO-highlights2018.pdf