Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh

Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh is the Executive Director of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER), and is Co-I on CSER’s research projects.

Under his and Huw Price’s leadership, CSER has grown in three years to be a world-leading academic research center on extreme technological risk, and is now funded at £3M+ over 2015–18. Since 2011 he has played a central role in research on long-term AI impacts and risks, project managing the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology. He has led an active program of engagement with both policymakers and research leaders in computer science on long-term AI, both in the UK and Europe.

Seán has carried out studies in relation to “biosecurity governance” and other governance issues emerging from the COVID-19 crisis. Seán S. ÓhÉigeartaigh is part of the team that published the scientific article "Embrace experimentation in biosecurity governance", where it is postulated that the "changes in technical, social, and political environments, coupled with the emergence of natural diseases such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19 ), are testing existing governance processes (...) "," which has led some communities to look beyond existing biosecurity models, policies, and procedures. But without systematic analysis and learning across them, it is hard to know what works . " In their work, the team suggests that "activities focused on rethinking biosecurity governance present opportunities to" experiment "with new sets of assumptions about the relationship among biology, security, and society, leading to the development, assessment, and iteration of governance hypotheses".