Project Leaders

Professor David Runciman (POLIS, University of Cambridge)

David is Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIS),  one of the three co-directors of the ‘Conspiracy and Democracy’ project in CRASSH, and a Fellow of Trinity Hall.  His main interests are in twentieth century political and intellectual history and in the theory of democratic politics.  His books include Pluralism and the Personality of State (CUP 1997), The Politics of Good Intentions (Princeton 2006) and Political Hypocrisy (Princeton 2008).  His latest book is  The Confidence Trap: A History of Democracy in Crisis from World War One to the Present.  He writes regularly about politics for a number of publications, including the London Review of Books.

Professor John Naughton (CRASSH, University of Cambridge)

John is a Senior Research Fellow in CRASSH, and one of the three co-directors of the ‘Conspiracy and Democracy’ project.  By background he is an engineer with research interests in the social, political, cultural and economic impact of the Internet.  His books include A Brief History of the Future: the Origins of the Internet (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2000) and From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: what you really need to know about the Internet (Quercus, 2012).  He is also the Technology Columnist of the Observer and Emeritus Professor of the Public Understanding of Technology at the Open University.

Research Fellows

Dr Daniel Wilson
Dr Nora Ni Loideain

Visiting Fellows

David Vincent is Emeritus Professor of Social History at The Open University, and Visiting Professor at Keele University. He is the author or editor of sixteen books on British and European social history.  His publications include Bread, Knowledge and Freedom. A Study of Nineteenth-Century Working Class Autobiography (Methuen, 1982); Literacy and Popular Culture. England 1750‑1914 (Cambridge University Press, 1989); The Culture of Secrecy: Britain 1832‑1998 (Oxford University Press, 1998), The Rise of Mass Literacy. Reading and Writing in Modern Europe (Polity Press, 2000); I Hope I Don’t Intrude. Privacy and its Dilemmas in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Oxford University Press, 2015). His next book is Privacy. A Short History (Polity, January 2016).

Charles Arthur is a freelance Tech Journalist and previously was technology editor at The Guardian. He has also written for The Independent and the New Scientist about technology, science and the environment.

Christena Nippert-Eng ( visiting March to April 2017) is a sociologist and Professor of Informatics at Indiana University Bloomington. Her scholarly interests include cognitive and formal sociology, everyday life, privacy, culture, technology, user-centered design, and multi-species research.

Lawrence Quill (visiting March to April 2017) is Professor of Political Science at San Jose State University. His books include Secrets and Democracy: From Arcana Imperii to WikiLeaks.

Frank Pasquale (visiting May to June 2017) is Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. His research agenda focuses on challenges posed to information law by rapidly changing technology, particularly in the health care, Internet, and finance industries. His book The Black Box Society: Technologies of Search, Reputation, and Finance develops a social theory of reputation, search, and finance.

Project Administrator

Judith Weik


Dr Anil Madhavapeddy, Computer Laboratory
Professor Jon Crowcroft FRS, Computer Laboratory
Dr Alfred Moore, CRASSH
Dr Rolf Fredheim, CRASSH
Dr Sharath Srinivasan (POLIS)
Dr Joel Isaac, History
Dr Julia Powles (Law and the Guardian)
Dr Ella McPherson, Sociology
Professor Jonathan Steinberg, Trinity Hall
Dr Richard Mortier, Computer Laboratory
Dr Julian Huppert, POLIS
Dr Richard Danbury, Law