Two research projects at Queen’s focus on emerging technology and security issues

Robert Sutherland Hall, home to the Centre for International and Defence Policy at Queen’s University. Photo by Jessica Foley/Kingstonist.

Two local research projects have received funding from the “Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security” (MINDS) program at the Department of National Defence, totalling nearly $100,000. The projects announced by the Centre for International and Defence Policy (CIDP) at Queen’s University will bring a focus on emerging technology and security issues.

According to a release from the CIDP, Dr. Michael Murphy, a postdoctoral fellow at Queen’s, will be leading teams of student researchers.

Dr. Murphy is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at Queen’s University, an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Political Studies, and a Digital Policy Hub fellow at the Centre for International and Defence Policy. He is an award-winning teacher, receiving both institutional and international awards, who grew up in Kingston, and received his PhD from the University of Ottawa.

“For nearly fifty years, the Centre for International and Defence Policy has been a leading institution for research on defence and security issues,” said Dr. Howard Coombs, CIDP Director.

“Dr. Murphy’s research projects will help ensure that our centre can continue to provide cutting-edge research on the important security implications of emerging technologies.”

The Centre for International and Defence Policy, established in 1975 as the Queen’s Centre for International Relations under the directorship of Nils Ørvik, has a mandate to conduct research in matters of national and international security and other aspects of international relations. According to the release, it supports teaching in the field of security and defence and, through its publications and activities of its members, contributes to the public debate on Canadian foreign and defence policy, and on issues of international peace and security. In 2011, the Centre’s name was changed to reflect more clearly the range of its interests as a research unit in the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University.

Dr. Michael Murphy, Queen’s University postdoctoral fellow, will lead two new research projects at the CIDP at Queen’s. Photo via Michael Murphy.

One of the two MINDS-funded projects led by Dr. Murphy, Climate Change as a Threat Multiplier for Emerging Technologies (ClimateThreatX), examines how cyberattacks coinciding with extreme weather events can pose additional threats to critical infrastructure, according to the release. It will examine how cybersecurity policy can better prepare for weather-related attacks on infrastructure.

The other project, Quantum Threats and the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda (Q-WPS), will explore how threats emerging from the domain of quantum science and technology intersect with Canada’s feminist foreign policy and gender-responsive security policy, including commitments made through the United Nations’ Women, Peace, and Security Agenda. The CIDP said this project seeks to examine how threats emerging from quantum technology may disproportionately impact different population groups and how gender-related security policy can better incorporate emerging technology threats.

According to the CIDP, the MINDS program is designed to facilitate collaboration and mobilize knowledge between the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Armed Forces, and academia and other experts on defence and security issues. Through its Targeted Engagement Grants, collaborative networks, scholarships, and expert briefings, MINDS works and collaborates with key partners to strengthen the foundation of evidence-based defence policymaking. According to the release, these partnerships drive innovation by encouraging new analyses of emerging global events, opportunities, and crises, while supporting a stronger defence and security dialogue with Canadians.

“Queen’s University is a research-intensive institution known for its high-impact and innovative projects,” said Dr. Stéfanie von Hlatky, Vice-Dean (Research) and Canada Research Chair in Gender, Security, and the Armed Forces at Queen’s.

“These new projects led by Dr. Murphy will not only continue the tradition of impactful research at Queen’s, but also provide important opportunities for students and emerging scholars to participate in research.”

Learn more about the CIDP on the Queen’s University website: https://www.queensu.ca/cidp/

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