Explained: Cambridge Bid for MoD Human Behaviour Project

Explained: Cambridge Bid for MoD Human Behaviour Project

November 10, 2019 1 By Luis Garrison


[Rally Chanting] Corporation Cambridge!
Shut it down! Corporation Cambridge!
Shut it down! the ministry of defence
is looking for a university
contractor for it’s human, social
and behavioural sciences
research programme until recently, the
University of Cambridge was
a final stage applicant in the bidding process. This
seven-year research partnership would
have been an unprecedentedly
close relationship between
universities and secretive military research
into manipulating human
behaviour on a global scale. The project aims to further
develop the
military’s informational
and psychological warfare
approach The university which will get
the contract will help the MoD
influence the behaviour of
individuals and populations with a mixture of
strategic communications
and the more
nefarious control of information
through social media the academics involved in the
programme would be responsible
for a “rapid response” to
military requirements: making it an operational,
rather than purely
research-based, role for this
contracted university. This programme creates an
explicit revolving
door between staff at
the university and personnel at institutions
at the heart of secretive
military research at Porton Down If Cambridge had won the bid,
academics in CRASSH would have been working
directly with the military on
shared projects commissioned
by the Ministry of Defence. Cambridge is no longer part
of this process, but that means that the
research is likely to be
taken up by otheruniversities The programme is part of the sinister ‘Full Spectrum Approach’ of the government and military. This approach seeks to merge
different methods of
exerting state power tying together warfare and
diplomacy, international development and
misinformation. It’s particularly chilling in
the way it blurs the lines
between media reporting, and techniques of
psychological and propaganda
warfare that are being used to
influence
foreign populations
and governments. This means
using military
force alongside, and increasingly integrated
with, the control of information
and public perception. Implicit and explicit threats
of military action can now be
combined with a systematic
news campaign, an information war waged
through social media and even
“fake news”. This contract instrumentalises
University research in aid of
expanding the military’s role
in building the UK’s global
power. The military-academic
complex generated by
proposals such as this threatens academic
freedom and meaningful
commitment to ethical
responsibility.