Former Executive Director, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER)
Dr Catherine Rhodes was Executive Director of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk from 2019 to 2021, and an Academic Project Manager at CSER for three years before that. She was also a Senior Research Associate with the Biosecurity Research Initiative at St Catharine’s College (BioRISC). Catherine now has affiliate status with both CSER and BioRISC.
In the context of addressing global risks, her work broadly focuses on understanding the intersection and combination of risk stemming from technologies and risk stemming from governance (or lack of it). Catherine has particular expertise in international governance of biotechnology, biosecurity and broader biological risk management issues. She has a background in international relations, but has engaged in extensive interdisciplinary work. Her PhD was funded as part of a Project to Strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention at the Bradford Disarmament Research Centre, and she retains a strong interest in international actions to prevent misuse of bioscience. This includes contributions to projects on the development of biosecurity and ethics education and on improving science and technology review in the biological and chemical weapons control regimes. Catherine worked for the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation at Manchester University from 2008-2015, where her work included: elaborating the meaning and content of scientific responsibility at the global level; investigation of science advisory processes in international organisations; and a substantial study of the international governance of genetic resources, which has significant implications for the use of biosciences in managing major global challenges.