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Professor Peter Lee is a Professor of Applied Ethics and Associate Dean for Research (Interim) in the University of Portsmouth Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. His research has spanned the ethical, operational and other human aspects of UK Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (drone) operations, the ethics of AI and autonomous weapon systems, moral injury and mental harms in military and police personnel, and politics and ethics of war. From 2016-2018 he was granted unprecedented research access to the two RAF Reaper squadrons for his book, Reaper Force: The Inside Story of Britain’s Drone Wars.  In 2020 Peter led two research projects which explored legal, ethical, and moral perspectives on advanced technology and emerging weapon systems and, separately, moral injury in police online child sex crime investigators and RAF Reaper (drone) operators. In April 2023 he commenced a collaborative £850,000 EPSRC-funded project to create a Trustworthy Autonomous Robotic Drone System to Support Battlefield Casualty Triage. He is a member of the UK Ministry of Defence Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy Ethics Advisory Panel. He is also an Expert Adviser of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drones and Modern Conflict.

Research Interests

The ethics of AI and autonomous weapon systems, the politics and ethics of war and military intervention, the ethics and other human factors of lethal military drone operations, and the application of Foucauldian conceptions of power, truth and subjectivity to contemporary political discourse. Peter is available for PhD supervision in these fields.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., A genealogy of the ethical subject in the just war tradition., King's College London

1 Oct 20051 Aug 2010

Award Date: 1 Aug 2010


  • BJ Ethics
  • Just War
  • Political Theory
  • Drones
  • Foucault Studies
  • Identity
  • Ethics
  • Politics
  • Autonomous Weapons
  • Moral Injury


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