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Research

At RegNet, I lead the Justice and Technoscience Lab (JusTech). JusTech is a collaboratory that brings together scholars from across Australia and the world to study regulatory strategies that advance more just and equitable approaches to the governance of science and technology. Working with colleagues and doctoral students, most of my ongoing research revolves around two major projects:

Traumatic Brain Injury and Regulatory Science

Funded by the Australian Research Council, this project explores how different forms of knowledge have contributed to the rise of traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a health concern. The first component looks at how shifting scientific and public health discourses in Australasia and North America frame TBI as a condition and contribute to emergent strategies for preventing and managing TBI. The second phase examines how inequality mediates the regulation of TBI among sport participants, military personnel, and survivors of intimate partner violence in Australia, Canada, and the United States, including U.S. Pacific Island territories. Overall, it aims to illuminate how science and regulation interact across contexts, as well as how they reflect shifting beliefs about brain health, the mind and body, and (injured) human agency.

Biometric Technologies, Surveillance, and Social Assistance

The collection of biometric data is part of everyday life. The widespread acceptance of biometric authentication has led to a multibillion dollar industry and sparked concerns around data security, individual privacy, and potential abuse by authorities. Despite concerns, biometric technologies, as well as predictive algorithms and risk assessment models, are increasingly used as regulatory tools in the context of social assistance, often in the name of cost savings and fraud prevention. We know little, though, about how they operate in practice or how their use comes to affect recipients, many of whom occupy marginalized positions in society. This collaborative ressearch, supported by the ANU Futures Scheme, pursues the following questions: how are these technologies informing experiences of regulation? What are their effects and implications? In answering them, our aim is to shed light on changing governance relationships in and across different jurisdictions. Case studies examine the UNHCR’s Biometric Identity Management System (BIMS) as well as social welfare and humanitarian aid practices in Australia, Canada, India, and Lebanon.

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