Mel Cowans

Visiting Researcher, February 2023 - March 2024

Mel’s research looks at global catastrophic risk, futures, emerging technologies, and their interactions with contemporary religion. This ranges from the relationships of apocalyptic and millenarian movements to WMDs to techno-eschatological perspectives on ‘deific’ AI and the Singularity.

At CSER, they will be working on ‘apocalyptic’ terrorism, information hazards, and existential risk from emerging technologies.

They are interested in secular-spiritual mythologies of the future, such as the ‘apocalypse/utopia’ binary, digital-biological enhancement and/or space expansion as processes of transcendence, and technological fatalism. They also co-run a reading group covering different perspectives on the long-term future.

Mel holds a BA in History, specialising in religion and politics, as well as an MPhil in Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion from the University of Cambridge. Their dissertation focused on the historical construction of ‘orthodoxy’ and the role of theological rhetoric in the acquisition and maintenance of political power.

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