Brian Martin

Brian Martin is professor of social sciences at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He is the author of 13 books and hundreds of articles on nonviolence, whistleblowing, scientific controversies, information issues, democracy and other topics. He is vice president of Whistleblowers Australia and runs a large website on suppression of dissent.

His PhD is in theoretical physics from Sydney University. He has taught a wide range of subjects including communication studies, environmental issues, peace studies and the politics of technology. He has undertaken many community research projects with the group Schweik Action Wollongong.

 

Qualifications

PhD (theoretical physics), University of Sydney, 1976

MSc qualifying (first class honours equivalent), Physics, University of Sydney, 1970

BA (physics), Rice University, 1969

 

Positions held

Professor of Social Sciences, Arts Faculty, University of Wollongong (2007- )

Associate professor (1997-2007), senior lecturer (1991-96) and lecturer (1986-1991), Science, Technology and Society, University of Wollongong

Research assistant/associate, Applied Mathematics, Australian National University, 1977-1985

Research assistant, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Australian National University, 1976

 

Research

The central theme in my research is the dynamics of power, with special attention to strategies for challenging repression and exploitation. I have explored power dynamics through an interplay of theory and case studies, including nonviolent action, dissent and scientific controversies.

Research areas include strategies to oppose injustice; nonviolence and social defence; whistleblowing; suppression of dissent in science; controversies over nuclear power, fluoridation, pesticides, nuclear winter and origin of AIDS; technological vulnerability; values in science; environmental politics; institutional roots of war; plagiarism and educational methods; democratic alternatives to representative government; information alternatives; critique of experts. Earlier scientific work was in stratospheric modelling and numerical methods; astrophysics; and wind power and electricity grids.

Overview of research

Publications

Author of 13 books and over 200 major articles and chapters. More details and full texts available.

Research grants


Honour

Diane Brown named a new species, Polycheles martini, after me for my "contributions on power and suppression in science".

 

University administration

Member of numerous committees at the university, faculty and programme level. Initiatives taken on research support, curriculum, research management, plagiarism and sexual harassment. More details available.

 

Editorial boards

Editorial Advisory Board, Plagiary: Cross-Disciplinary Studies in Plagiarism, Fabrication, and Falsification, 2005-2009

Editorial Advisory Board, Public Understanding of Science, 2004-2010

Editorial Board, Social Alternatives, 2002-

Editorial Board, Anarchist Studies, 1993-

Advisory Board, Philosophy and Social Action, New Delhi, 1985-

 

Memberships

International Council, Freedom to Care [British whistleblowers group], 2004-2010

Society for Social Studies of Science, 1992-2007; elected member of Council, 1992-1995

International Peace Research Association, 1990-2007

Advisory Committee, Civilian-based Defense Association, USA, 1989-2006

Advisory Research Panel, Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, Sweden, 1986-2007

Australasian Association for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science, 1986-2002


Professional and community activities

President of Whistleblowers Australia, Inc., 1996-1999; Vice President, 2007- ; International Director, 2000-

Chair of the Board of Management, Illawarra Citizen Advocacy, Inc. [a disability service funded by the federal government], 1997-2007

Leader in community research projects, Canberra Peacemakers, 1980-1985, and Schweik Action Wollongong, 1986-

Member of university sexual harassment committees, 1984-1998

Co-organiser of Dissent Network Australia, 1993-

Activist in radical science, environmental and peace groups, 1970s and 1980s

 

Research trips and conference appearances: highlights

Keynote speaker, 3rd Asia-Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity: Creating a Culture of Integrity, University of South Australia, Adelaide, 7 December 2007.

Invited speaker, Conference on Peace in North-East Asia, Seoul, Korea, 28 June 2005

Senior scholar, Virginia Tech STS workshop on Technologies/moralities: the ethical grammar of technological systems, 27-29 March 2003

Keynote speaker, Symposium on Nonviolence Research, University of Trømso, Norway, 29-30 November 2002

Invited speaker, Royal Society discussion meeting on origins of HIV and the AIDS epidemic, London, 11-12 September 2000

Invited speaker, International Conference on Science, Technology and Society, Tokyo-Hiroshima-Kyoto, March 1998

Speaking tour (4 talks), Japan, May 1994

Speaking tour (3 talks), Netherlands, May 1993

Speaking tour (8 talks), Italy, April-May 1991

Keynote speaker, Conference on Nonviolent Struggle and Social Defence, Bradford, England, April 1990

Full list of talks

 

Teaching

Approach to teaching and recent subject outlines

Supervision

Subjects taught (since 1986)

Communication and the information society
Computers in society
The dynamics of science and technology
The environmental context
Free speech in an information society
Happiness: investigating its causes and conditions
Information and communication theories
Introduction to peace and war studies
Media, war and peace
On the margins of science
The politics of medicine and health
The politics of risk
The politics of technological change
Science and the media
Science, technology and progress
Scientific and technological controversy
Studies in resource and environmental policy
Technological change in Australia
Technology and the modern industrial society
Technological change in Australia
Technology and economics

 

Autobiographical items

Doing Good Things Better (2011): personal experiences, including writing, honour codes, playing the clarinet and running to work, used as illustrations in an analysis of ways to protect and promote good things

A plan to fight injustices (2009): an introduction to my research on tactics against injustice plus answers to questions about my career and life

Efficient filing: a personal account (2006): how I organise my research files

Feet of endurance (2004): on running to work

A passion for planning (2001)

Suppression Stories (1997): a personal account of learning about suppression of dissent

The individual, a chapter in Uprooting War (1984): my personal background and experience as an activist

The goal of self-managed science (1980), including some personal comments

Photo


Last modified 29 October 2012, email: bmartin@uow.edu.au