His research focuses on the relationships among science, technology, and security. In particular, he focuses on the intersections of national security and military thought with new media, information, and communication technologies (ICTs).
His first book, Nonlinear Science and Warfare, traces the use of chaos theory, complexity theory, and network science in the development of theories of information-age warfare. This included a focus on the theory and strategy of network-centric warfare in the U.S. military. He has also written on the U.S. military’s use of social media. Most of his recent work has focused on public policy debates related to cyber security, cyber warfare, and privacy.
At the University of Utah, Dr. Lawson teaches courses on new media, ICTs, and society. Undergraduate courses include “Communication Technology and Culture,” “Information Technology and Global Conflict,” “Introduction to Web Design,” “International Communication,” “Drones and Society,” “Innovation with Drones,” “Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods,” and “Privacy and Surveillance.” He also teaches graduate seminars in technology studies and science communication. He has taught “Science and Technology in Western Culture” for the State University of New York’s Empire State College.
Dr. Sean Lawson serves on the Academic Review Committee for the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Center of Excellence (CCDCOE) International Conference on Cyber Conflict. He is an editor for Routledge Studies in Conflict, Security and Technology. He has served as an instructor in the course “Operational Planning for Counterterrorism” offered by the NATO Centre of Excellence Defence Against Terrorism. He has presented his research to the Joint Staff’s Strategic Multilayer Assessment and was interviewed for its Assessment of the Future of Global Competition & Conflict.
Dr. Lawson received his Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2008. Before beginning his Ph.D., he worked as an Associate National Security Analyst with DynCorp Systems & Solutions, LLC in Alexandria, VA. He has an MA in Arab Studies from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a BA in History from California State University, Stanislaus. As an undergraduate, he interned in the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Project at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California.