Projects

His current research activities include two sole-authored manuscripts and an interdisciplinary collaboration that investigate the problem of nuclear harm.

The first manuscript, Nuclear Harm: Ecology at Posthuman Scales, confronts the liberal notion of “harm” with nuclear pain, suffering and vulnerability at posthuman spatial and temporal scales, thereby forging connections between International Ethics and Environmental Philosophy. The second manuscript, Visual Nuclear Politics: Oceania in the Nuclear Imaginary, asks what role visual images and artefacts play in the American, British and French nuclear imaginary, but also for the enduring experience and representation of nuclear colonialism in Oceania.

The third project draws together these insights into an interdisciplinary collaboration that explores ways to communicate the problem of nuclear harm into the far-future, up to 30,000 generations (or one million years) from now. In this way the task of managing nuclear waste gives rise to larger questions of vulnerability and justice across both generational and species boundaries. 

*

Completed projects have deployed methods and theories drawn from interdisciplinary sources such as agonistic dialogue, intergenerational ethics, critical heritage studies, responsible investment, and the creative arts, among others. Approaching the problem of nuclear harm in this pluralistic way is designed to extend our abilities to comprehend and address the dilemmas that arise from the civilian and militaristic applications of nuclear technology. For instance, between 2011 to 2018 Taylor directed the Archive of Nuclear Harm, a memory institution that explored ways to communicate the problem of nuclear harm into the far-future. 

Taylor’s interdisciplinary investigations into the problem of nuclear harm have also had a demonstrable research impact. For example, former vice-president of the International Court of Justice Judge Christopher Weeramantry wrote that the Athens Dialogue that Taylor co-convened and facilitated in 2012—and the subsequent book—was “outstanding” and “a significant step” that makes “a substantial contribution” to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation processes in the Middle East. Prior to 2012, Taylor spent a decade advising pension and sovereign wealth funds on ethical practices relating to transboundary environmental and social harm. In 2007 Australia’s university pension fund awarded him the inaugural prize for ethical investment research where the panel of judges noted Taylor’s “pioneering role” which “may have single-handedly debunked any residual concerns […] and could fundamentally change how [legislators and trustees] now tackle this subject”.

Taylor has also been invited to contribute to projects that are led by others. Most recently, between 2014 and 2016 he advised the Australia Council for the Arts’ Nuclear Futures Partnership Initiative, a three-year community arts program for atomic survivor and nuclear veteran communities impacted by, or implicated in, British nuclear colonialism.  “Reimagining Maralinga”, a multimedia special issue that he co-edited to document the project, serves as a remedy to the relative neglect of Oceania in the literature on nuclear art and culture.