Fellow 2023/2024Nikita Chiu

Fellowship Term: 03/2024 – 07/2024

Dr Chiu is Associate Professor in Space Innovation and Technology Governance at Durham University. In 2019, she was named Ad Astra Distinguished Fellow in Robotic and Outer Space Governance by the Space Engineering Research Center at USC. Dr Chiu was Senior Lecturer in Innovation Policy at the University of Exeter. Prior to her role in Devon, she was Research Fellow in Robotics and Outer Space Technologies at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, and is a former Research Affiliate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge. An International R elations scholar by training, Dr. Chiu taught Foreign Policy and Global Governance first in Hong Kong, then in Tallinn and the UK. She read Technology Policy at St Edmund’s College at the University of Cambridge, and gained her PhD from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva in 2014.

Nikita Chiu

Dr Chiu is a former recipient of the Ernst Mach Grant. Named after the Austrian physicist, the grant enabled the investigation of multilevel governance policy at the city, national, and international (UN) level. Dr Chiu is also a mentor for Space4Women, a network organized by the United Nations Office for Out er Space Affairs (UNOOSA) to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She was selected as one of “20 under 35” future leaders to watch by the Space & Satellite Professionals International in 2019 for her work on space sustainability.

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ApoTech - Technologies and (Post)Apocalyptic Scenario Planning: A Study on Transcultural and Transdisciplinary Perceptions of Technology Engendered (Post)Apocalyptic Scenarios

Synthesizing insights from the fields of Technology and Operational History, Technology Management, and International Relations, ApoTech seeks to uncover and critically investigate the clashes between different cultures, sectors, and disciplines in constructing and/or perceiving technology engendered apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic (TEPA) scenarios. In the post-war years, the delicate nature of technology that could be both powerful and destructive prompted discussions on technologies-induced (post)apocalyptic scenario planning, particularly in arms control. This project seeks to I) identify the divergence of perceptions surrounding TEPA scenarios across cultures, disciplines, and sectors in the post-WWII era; and II) investigate how post-war policy-makers in the domain of disarmament confronted/reconciled these differences.

Through a comprehensive examination of UN virtual archives, memoirs, interviews, and statements of policy-makers and atomic survivors in the post-WWII era, ApoTech seeks to answer the following questions: 1. How do different fields and professions perceive the potential of (post)-apocalyptic scenarios brought by destructive technologies? What were the imaginaries/imageries that stakeholders (e.g. scientists, military professionals) invoked in policy discussions regarding the governance of technologies? (e.g. pro/cons in developing tactical nuclear weapons) 2. How were technology engendered (post)apocalyptic scenarios perceived in Europe, US, and Japan? 3. What role did (post)apocalyptic scenarios played in discussions of arms control and nuclear disarmament? How did decision-makers in this domain confront/ reconcile/ synthesize differences in the conceptions, imaginaries and/or imageries of TEPA scenarios?