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Brian Martin (professor)

Brian Martin
Born (1947-00-00) 0 December 1947
Tulsa, Oklahoma,
Education Rice University, (BSc); University of Sydney (PhD)
Occupation Social scientist at University of Wollongong (social study of science, peace studies); formerly mathematician at Australian National University
Years active 1973–present

Brian Martin (born 1947) teaches in the interdisciplinary area of Science, technology, and society at the University of Wollongong in Australia, where he became a professor in 2007.[1] He was president of Whistleblowers Australia from 1996 to 1999 and remains their International Director.



Martin grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He took an undergraduate degree at Australian National University as an applied mathematician before his position was terminated and became a lecturer at the University of Wollongong in 1986. By then he had started to work on social issues surrounding scientific investigation.[2]

Scholarly contributions

The central theme in Martin's research is the dynamics of power, with special attention to strategies for challenging repression and exploitation. He has explored power dynamics through an interplay of theory and case studies, including nonviolent action, technological vulnerability, values in science, environmental politics, institutional roots of war, dissent and scientific controversies. His theory of 'blowback' explains the unforeseen adverse consequences of government actions, particularly covert operations.

Martin is the author of 13 books[4] and over 200 major papers and chapters.[1] His choice of research topic and perspective is individualistic, and ranges widely. Unlike his books, many of his articles are published in unusual locations including activist magazines and online journals. In wider public life, he has spoken at a British Science Association Festival of Science,[5] broadcast on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation[6] and testified at the Australian Senate's Inquiry into Academic Freedom.[7][8]

Martin's earlier scientific work was in stratospheric modelling and numerical methods; astrophysics; and wind power and electricity grids.[1]


  • The Controversy Manual (Sparsnäs, Sweden: Irene Publishing, 2014).
  • Doing Good Things Better (Sparsnäs, Sweden: Irene Publishing, 2013)
  • Justice Ignited: The Dynamics of Backfire, (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007).
  • (with Wendy Varney). Nonviolence Speaks: Communicating against Repression, (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2003).
  • Nonviolence versus capitalism (London: War Resisters' International, 2001).
  • Technology for Nonviolent Struggle, (London: War Resisters' International, 2001).
  • (with Lyn Carson). Random Selection in Politics, (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1999).
  • The Whistleblower's Handbook: How to Be an Effective Resister, (Charlbury, UK: Jon Carpenter; Sydney: Envirobook, 1999). Updated and republished 2013 as Whistleblowing: a practical guide, Sparsnäs, Sweden: Irene Publishing)
  • (ed.) Technology and Public Participation (University of Wollongong, 1999)
  • Information Liberation, (London: Freedom Press, 1998).
  • Tied Knowledge: Power in Higher Education (self-published)
  • Suppression Stories, (Wollongong: Fund for Intellectual Dissent, 1997).
  • Social Defence, Social Change (London: Freedom Press, 1993)
  • Scientific Knowledge in Controversy: The Social Dynamics of the Fluoridation Debate (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991)
  • Uprooting war (London: Freedom Press, 1984).
  • The Bias of Science (Society for Social Responsibility in Science, 1979)[9] ISBN 0-909509-13-1

Journal articles in the physical sciences

His most cited papers are:

  • Davies, Brian; Martin, Brian (October 1979). "Numerical inversion of the Laplace transform: a survey and comparison of methods" (PDF). Journal of Computational Physics 33 (1): 1–32.   (cited over 470 times)
  • Martin, B. (1979). "Magnetic DA White Dwarfs".  

Other Journal articles (selection)

  • Martin, Brian (Fall 1990). "Captives of Controversy: The Myth of the Neutral Social Researcher in Contemporary Scientific Controversies". Science, Technology, & Human Values 15 (4): 474–494.  
  • Hess, David; Martin, Brian (June 2006). "Repression, backfire, and the theory of transformative events". Mobilization 11 (1): 249–267. 
  • Martin, Brian (1980). "The selective usefulness of game theory". Social Studies of Science 8: 85–110.  
  • Campanario, Juan Miguel; Martin, Brian (Fall 2004). "Challenging dominant physics paradigms". Journal of Scientific Exploration 18 (3): 421–438.  


  1. ^ a b c d Martin's curriculum vitae, University of Wollongong (downloaded 27. November 2011)
  2. ^ a b Martin, Brian (1991). "About the Author". Strip The Experts.  
  3. ^
  4. ^ Brian Martin: books and booklets (downloaded 27. November 2011)
  5. ^ Murcott, Toby (11 September 2000). "Science needs its whistleblowers". BBC. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "Perspective: Whistleblowers and Iraq". ABC. 10 May 2004. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  7. ^ "Inquiry into Academic Freedom Public Hearing - Sydney, Thursday 9 October 2008". Parliament of Australia Senate. 9 October 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  8. ^ Devine, Miranda (4 December 2008). "Monoculture is killing thought". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  9. ^ The Bias of Science. Google. 1979.  

External links

  • Brian Martin, University of Wollongong
  • Publications with Brian Martin's topic pages Dissent, Nuclear Suppression, Schweik Action Wollongong
  • "Democracy Without ElectionsAudio File of Brian Martin's "
  • Whistleblowers Australia
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