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Research

Working with colleagues and doctoral students, as well as independently, my ongoing research entails two main projects:

Traumatic Brain Injury and Regulatory Science

Funded through an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, this project explores the rise of traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a health concern, focusing on how different kinds of knowledge come to inform its treatment. I am currently looking 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 next phase of the project 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. 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 about how they operate within technosocial ecosystems or how their use comes to affect recipients, many of whom are vulnerable or occupy marginalized positions in society. This project, funded by the ANU Futures Scheme, pursues the following questions: how are these technologies informing practices and experiences of regulation? What are the effects and implications? In answering them, this research aims to shed light on changing governance relationships in and across different jurisdictions. It examines the UNCHR’s Biometric Identity Management System (BIMS) as well as social welfare and humanitarian aid practices in Australia, Canada, India, Lebanon, and South Africa.

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