Reports & briefings

SGR's project work often includes the publication of in-depth reports or shorter briefings. Electronic copies of those listed below can be downloaded. Printed copies may also be available to purchase - see here [add link]

Results 1 - 10 of 12

The UK government is due to make a decision in 2016 on whether to approve a like-for-like replacement of its submarine-based Trident nuclear weapons system. The purpose of this report is to inform the debate – by highlighting the latest scientific and technical information about the risks posed by the continued deployment of Britain’s weapon of mass destruction.

SGR report by Dr Philip Webber and Dr Stuart Parkinson.; 6 August 2015
 

This briefing presents evidence that the detonation of the nuclear warheads carried on just one UK Trident submarine would lead to vast quantities of smoke being generated that would led to a sharp climate cooling, causing a global crop failure which would threaten the lives of some 1 billion people. This would be in addition to the deaths of over 10 million people killed directly by blast, fire and fallout from the nuclear explosions.

SGR briefing by Dr Philip Webber; 26 February 2013.
 

Assisted by Dr Philip Webber, SGR, the campaign group Article 36 has published a short case study of the direct humanitarian impacts from a single nuclear weapon detonation on Manchester, UK. This study is intended as a reminder of the devastating impact that just one nuclear warhead - of the size of a Trident warhead - can cause to a city.

26 February 2013
 

The detrimental effects of commercial influence on science and technology

SGR report by Chris Langley and Stuart Parkinson; October 2009

It is no secret that links between the commercial sectors and science and technology are increasing. Many policy-makers, business leaders and members of the science community argue that this is positive for both science and society. But there is growing evidence that the science commercialisation agenda brings with it a wide range of detrimental effects, including bias, conflicts of interest, a narrowing of the research agenda, and misrepresentation of research results. This report takes an in-depth look at the evidence for these effects across five sectors: pharmaceuticals; tobacco; military/defence; oil and gas; and biotechnology. Its findings make disturbing reading for all concerned about the positive role of science and technology in our society.
 

Military influence, commercial pressures and the compromised university

SGR briefing by Chris Langley, Stuart Parkinson and Philip Webber; June 2008

This briefing builds upon the disclosures of, and recommendations provided in, Soldiers in the Laboratory and More Soldiers in the Laboratory and focuses on the impact of military sector influence within the research and teaching environment of universities in the UK.
 

The militarisation of science and technology - an update

SGR briefing by Chris Langley, Stuart and Philip Webber; August 2007

This briefing provides an update to Soldiers In The Laboratory. In addition to SGR's latest findings about the power and influence of the military in science, engineering and technology (SET) in the UK and elsewhere since the previous report was written, this briefing also highlights some of the problems encountered in obtaining detailed information on military involvement in R&D despite the entry into force of the Freedom of Information Act. The report also documents the huge imbalance between government R&D funding of the military and funding to tackle ill-health, environmental degradation and poverty, and argues that a major shift in resources towards supporting social justice and environmental protection and away from the military is needed.
 

12 inspiring cases of ethical careers in science and technology

SGR ethical careers booklet edited by Stuart Parkinson and Vanessa Spedding; April 2006

12 scientists and engineers tell of their experiences in trying to follow an ethical career. The cases cover a wide range of issues relating to the environment, social justice, the military, and animal welfare.
 

SGR ethical careers briefing by Chris Langley; January 2006

This briefing discusses military involvement with science and engineering, and how it can affect career choice in these fields. It outlines how the UK’s position as a major military power influences research, teaching, and development and deployment of new technologies, and discusses the related ethical issues. The briefing also gives tips on avoiding military work and describes opportunities in a range of alternative fields such as peace-building, disarmament, and cleaner energy technologies.
 

Military involvement in science and technology - and some alternatives

SGR report - written by Chris Langley; edited by Stuart Parkinson and Philip Webber; 19 January 2005

The UK’s involvement in the ‘War on terror’, especially the use of military force in Iraq, has been one of the most hotly contested issues in recent years. Meanwhile public confidence in science has been hit hard by controversies from GM crops to the MMR vaccine. This report investigates where military and scientific endeavours have intertwined—revealing the extent of the power and influence that the military has within UK science and engineering. The report describes how this influence has developed since the end of the Cold War, and examines whether the current level of military involvement in science and technology is the best way of contributing to the goals of peace, social justice and environmental sustainability.
 

SGR ethical careers briefing by David Webb; April 2004

This briefing provides an insight into the implications of choosing a career in any field associated with space exploration or space technology. The forces that drive developments in space technology are complex, often political, and very often linked – either overtly or covertly – with a military imperative. The briefing aims to facilitate a deeper appreciation of these forces by offering a perspective on this military influence on the space industry that’s rarely seen elsewhere.