Sean Lawson is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah. He is author of the book, Nonlinear Science and Warfare: Chaos, Complexity, and the U.S. Military in the Information Age. He is co-author (with Marouf Hasian and Megan McFarlane) of The Rhetorical Invention of America’s National Security State.
His research focuses on the relationships among science, technology, and the development of military theory and discourse. 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,” and “Privacy and Surveillance.” He also teaches graduate seminars in technology studies and science communication. He has also taught “Science and Technology in Western Culture” for the State University of New York’s Empire State College.
Dr. Sean Lawson serves on the Program Committee and as a peer reviewer 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.
Dr. Lawson received his Ph.D. from the Department of Science and Technology Studies at 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 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.