Centre for the Study of Existential Risk is hiring postdocs

The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, a new interdisciplinary research centre in Cambridge UK looking at transformative technologies and global risk.

They are currently recruiting for researchers (and will be recruiting again in the spring). Excellent people who would like to work with the the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk on technology, global risks and challenges – whether academics, late-stage PhDs, people with equivalent research experience in e.g. industry or policy should contact them.

Current deadline: November 12th.


The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk is delighted to announce four new postdoctoral positions for the subprojects below, to begin in January 2016 or as soon as possible afterwards. The research associates will join a growing team of researchers developing a general methodology for the management of extreme technological risk.

Evaluation of extreme technological risk will examine issues such as:
The use and limitations of approaches such as cost-benefit analysis when evaluating extreme technological risk; the importance of mitigating extreme technological risk compared to other global priorities; issues in population ethics as they relate to future generations; challenges associated with evaluating small probabilities of large payoffs; challenges associated with moral and evaluative uncertainty as they relate to the long-term future of humanity.
Relevant disciplines include philosophy and economics, although suitable candidates outside these fields are welcomed.
Evaluation of extreme technological risk

Extreme risk and the culture of science will explore the hypothesis that the culture of science is in some ways ill-adapted to successful long-term management of extreme technological risk, and investigate the option of ‘tweaking’ scientific practice, so as to improve its suitability for this special task. It will examine topics including inductive risk, use and limitations of the precautionary principle, and the case for scientific pluralism and ‘breakout thinking’ where extreme technological risk is concerned. Relevant disciplines include philosophy of science and science and technology studies, although suitable candidates outside these fields are welcomed.
Extreme risk and the culture of science

Responsible innovation and extreme technological risk asks what can be done to encourage risk-awareness and societal responsibility, without discouraging innovation, within the communities developing future technologies with transformative potential. What can be learned from historical examples of technology governance and culture-development? What are the roles of different forms of regulation in the development of transformative technologies with risk potential? Relevant disciplines include science and technology studies, geography, sociology, governance, philosophy of science, plus relevant technological fields (e.g., AI, biotechnology, geoengineering), although suitable candidates outside these fields are welcomed.
Responsible innovation and extreme technological risk

We are also seeking to appoint an academic project manager, who will play a central role in developing CSER into a world-class research centre. We seek an ambitious candidate with initiative and a broad intellectual range for a postdoctoral role combining academic and administrative responsibilities. The Academic Project Manager will co-ordinate and develop CSER’s projects and the Centre’s overall profile, and build and maintain collaborations with academic centres, industry leaders and policy makers in the UK and worldwide. This is a unique opportunity to play a formative research development role in the establishment of a world-class centre.
CSER Academic Project Manager

Candidates will normally have a PhD in a relevant field or an equivalent level of experience and accomplishment (for example, in a policy, industry, or think tank setting). Application Deadline: Midday (12:00) on November 12th 2015.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit the University’s Job Opportunities pages at the links above. There you will need to click on the ‘Apply online’ button and register an account with the University’s Web Recruitment System (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

The application process involves a two-stage registration (applicants must complete and submit both stages of the application process). Applicants should also register/log-on to the CRASSH Application system on the CRASSH website, www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/applications and follow the detailed instructions there.

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