I’m a philosopher and ethicist of science and technology, with focuses on philosophy of biology, cultural evolution, human enhancement, Big Data and online communication, values in science, research ethics and integrity, science communication, science policy, and trust. 


My two main current projects are: (1) understanding what sense it has to view organism behaviour as agent-like (intentional; deliberative) in a Darwinian framework, (2) understanding what it means to say “trust the science”.


I'm currently affiliated with the Leibniz Universität Hannover as a postdoctoral researcher, and the University of Antwerp as a part-time assistant professor.


To get in touch: hugh.desmond [at] gmail.com


  • Aug '22: Status Distrust in Experts. Published in Social Epistemology. link

  • Jun '22: "Reclaiming Care and Privacy in the Age of Social Media" for Values and Virtues in a Changing World (Jefferson et al., ed., Cambridge University Press)

  • Mar '22: "Status Distrust towards Scientific Experts" accepted in Social Epistemology

  • Jan '22: "The Integrated Information Theory of Agency" published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences

  • Dec '21: "In Service to Others: A New Evolutionary Perspective on Human Enhancement" published in the Hastings Center Report

upcoming talks