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Annie Handmer

Masters of Science (History and Philosophy of Science)
Annie is researching how science is carried out in extreme environments under international law. She is currently investigating the interface between science, society, and military activities in space.
Annie Handmer on campus

My research

I research how science is carried out in extreme environments under international law. Currently I am focusing on the interface between science, society, and military activities Outer Space, while my honours thesis was on scientific cooperation between the USSR, France, and the USA in Antarctica.

My research looks at how nations can use science as a conduit to enable international cooperation, even in times of conflict. I hope that it will be of use to Australia and the international scientific community in the future as Australia’s role in Space increases through private enterprise and scientific activity.

This is particularly relevant as Australia decides what its strategic focus will be in setting up its first ever Space Agency. Should Australia act as the ‘good citizen’ and remediation expert as it has done successfully in Antarctica, or should we take a more leading role in brokering international agreements and multilateral treaties between the world’s most powerful space-faring nations?

The answers to these questions will only be found through informed discussion that understands thoroughly the historic, social, and scientific actants that have led to successful cooperation in the past.

My experience

The University of Sydney has a fantastic and supportive School of History and Philosophy of Science. In fact it is one of the only schools worldwide that combines history and philosophy in one corridor! The academic supervisors are second to none, and there’s a great community of students who have a true passion for the field.

I also love that the campus is so vibrant, with over 200 Clubs and Societies, something that makes the University unique, and a great place to explore talents and interests outside the classroom.

Space junk: a mess of astronomic proportions

Watch Annie's talk on space junk, recorded at Astrofest Sydney 2018.