Steph­en Cole­man

Military ethicist

In examin­ing the eth­ics of for­ce mul­ti­pli­er tech­no­logy, Steph­en Cole­man is bet­ter­ing our under­stand­ing of the con­duct of con­flict and what non-leth­al weaponry can mean. In this talk at TEDx­Can­ber­ra 2011, Steph­en Cole­man dis­cusses his work as an eth­i­cist with mil­it­ary and police forces and his exam­in­a­tion of wheth­er non-leth­al weapons act as a val­id deterrent to leth­al for­ce, both for the law enfor­cer and the per­pet­rat­ors of crimes.

This talk is one of three TEDx­Can­ber­ra Talks to be selec­ted to fea­ture on the main TED.com web­site. Few­er than one per­cent of all TEDx Talks around the world are selec­ted for this hon­or.


Dr. Steph­en Cole­man is Seni­or Lec­turer in Eth­ics and Lead­er­ship and Vin­cent Fair­fax Foun­da­tion Fel­low in the School of Human­i­ties and Social Sci­ences, UNSW, Can­ber­ra.

Steph­en works in a diverse range of areas in applied eth­ics, includ­ing mil­i­tary eth­ics, police eth­ics, med­ical eth­ics, space eth­ics and the prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tions of human rights. He has pub­lished and pre­sented in var­i­ous forms in Aus­tralia, the United States, the United King­dom, New Zeal­and and Hong Kong. He is the Dir­ect­or of the Eth­ics pro­gram for the Aus­trali­an Centre for the Study of Armed Con­flict and Soci­ety (ACSACS) at UNSW, Can­ber­ra, as well as a Research Fel­low with the inter­na­tion­al Con­sor­ti­um on Emer­ging Tech­no­logy, Mil­it­ary Oper­a­tions and Nation­al Secur­ity (CETMONS).

Pre­vi­ously he has been a Res­i­dent Fel­low at the Stock­dale Cen­ter for Eth­i­cal Lead­er­ship at the United States Naval Acad­emy, where he was part of a large research pro­ject exam­in­ing the eth­i­cal impli­ca­tions of var­i­ous new and devel­op­ing mil­i­tary tech­nolo­gies. This pro­ject helped to brief the Depart­ment of Defense, the US Con­gress and the White House on these issues. He can also make bal­loon and ori­gami ani­mals, jug­gle, breathe fire and ride a uni­cy­cle, though not all at the same time.

He can also make bal­loon and ori­gami anim­als, juggle, breathe fire and ride a uni­cycle, though not all at the same time.