CREST Roundup: April 2019


This is a roundup of what CREST has been up to in April 2019. You can stay up-to-date with all our work by signing up to the CREST Newsletter, and have CREST news and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

New resources

How Are Conspiracy Theories Adopted And What Are Their Risks?

How Are Conspiracy Theories Adopted And What Are Their Risks?

Conspiracy theories are more than just conversations with friends about who might have killed Princess Diana, or whether 9/11 was an inside job. In recent years, conspiracy theories have been tied to extremism, radical politics, and terrorism. Conspiracy theories have also driven people to eschew mainstream science and medicine, putting both the environment and society’s health at risk by not vaccinating children against measles.

This new CREST report, by Karen DouglasRobbie SuttonAleksandra CichockaJim AngFarzin DeraviJoseph Uscinski and Turkay Nefes, provides a comprehensive and interdisciplinary review of the existing conspiracy theory research. It examines these questions using perspectives from psychology, information engineering, political science, and sociology.

The report focuses on three specific areas:

  • First, it explores the extant literature that addresses beliefs in conspiracy theories, focusing on the psychological, political and social factors that correlate with heightened belief. That is, what factors predict conspiracy belief?
  • Second, it examines the ways in which conspiracy theories travel across interpersonal relations, through traditional and new media, and on social media. That is, when are conspiracy theories communicated, through what means and in what forms, and what are the motives for these communications?
  • Third, it considers the risks and rewards associated with conspiracy theories. In other words, what is the relationship between conspiracy theories and prejudice, the rejection of science and medicine, and radicalisation and extremism? How do conspiracy theories contribute to these and other social ills?

To buttress this discussion, the report also assesses the opposite side of the ledger and looks at the benefits gained from conspiracy theories and for the people who believe them.

You can find the full report here.

You can find all the outputs on conspiracy theories here.

These reports are products from the ‘Why Do People Adopt Conspiracy Theories, How Are They Communicated, And What Are Their Risks?’ programme, led by Professor Karen Douglas at the University of Kent. This project is a multi-disciplinary literature review on the emergence, transmission, spread, and countering of conspiracy theories. You can read more about the project here.

CREST updated catalogue

CREST has published an updated catalogue listing all CREST resources up until March 2019. Divided into thematic categories it includes all our guides, reports and open-access journal articles.

The catalogue indexes CREST’s outputs under three different themes:
  • Understanding Who & Why.
  • Better Intelligence Gathering & Decisions.
  • Protecting Ourselves.
We’ve produced a lot of CREST outputs since last year and we’re always working on ways to make them easier to find. The new catalogue helps by making it easier to find guides, reports and journals that relate to the same topic.
You can download the catalogue here.

Crest Security Review #9 – Data

Have you read our latest issue of CREST Security Review?

Issue 9 of CSR focuses on Data, and in particular on how the social and behavioural sciences can help us see the value that data and computer science can bring to understanding and countering security threats.

You can read, download and share this issue on the new CREST Security Review website here.Don’t forget you can also download the new CREST Security Review mobile app. All issues of CSR, past and present, are available to browse online and offline.


Opportunities and events

CREST Executive Director

Lancaster UniversityCREST is hiring an Executive Director. The successful applicant will deliver strategic leadership to CREST’s executive activities, ensuring they drive forward the Centre’s research, engagement and capacity building agendas in ways that maximises research excellence and impact.

They will engage with key scholars and stakeholders, grow our successful programme of research communication and public engagement, oversee the Centre’s research commissioning programme, and help ensure the Centre delivers on its national capability for all users.

Working closely with CREST’s director, they will be a central part of the Centre’s leadership team.

Closing Date: Wednesday 8th May 2019

For more information, and to apply, go to the Lancaster University job site here.


CREST Personal Assistant

Lancaster UniversityCREST is seeking to appoint a personal assistant to work with the Director and Deputy Director of CREST. The successful applicant will provide a high level, confidential and efficient professional PA support service to CREST’s Director and Deputy Director.

This will include diary, forward planning and day file preparation, servicing of meetings, supporting travel, and representing CREST in a range of communication and networking scenarios.

The post holder will join an active Centre management team and should anticipate having the opportunity to contribute to a wide variety of activities within the Centre alongside friendly and enthusiastic colleagues.

Closing Date: Friday 17 May 2019

For more information, and to apply, go to the Lancaster University job site here.


Research Associate

Lancaster UniversityThe University of Lancaster is looking for a Research Associate to work on an 8-month project investigating nonverbal behavioural correlates of trustworthiness intuitions.

Through experimental work, you will look at a person’s unconscious nonverbal responses to an untrustworthy actor, and how these responses can be communicated back to the person experiencing them in a way that shapes their response.

You will be involved in all aspects of the research; with prime responsibility for recruitment, testing and data analysis. This will involve using advanced motional capture technologies (e.g., XSens MVN) and associated analytical techniques, on which we will give you training. You will be expected to contribute to journal publications and presentations.

For further information and to apply, visit the Lancaster jobs website.


Research Fellow (Human-Computer Interaction/ Psychology/ Trust/ Related Fields)

University of DundeeThe University of Dundee is looking for a Research Fellow to carry out predominantly quantitative research with a focus on online trust. The appointment is for ten months.

The successful applicant will contribute to the development and testing of new theories around the establishment of trust in online contexts. Knowledge of social identities, social norms, trust and online behaviour is highly desirable.

The post is part of the project “TAPESTRY: Trust, Authentication and Privacy over a DeCentralised Social Registry”, funded by the RCUK Digital Economy programme. Full details of the project are available here.

Closing Date: 16th May 2019

For further information and to apply, click here.


Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (Human-Computer Interaction/ Psychology/ Trust/ related fields)

University of DundeeThe University of Dundee is looking for a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with strong qualitative skills to play a central role in Cumulative Revelations of Personal Data, a new program of research funded by the RCUK Digital Economy programme. Full details of the project are available here.

Knowledge of individuals’ practices around their personal data and online identity is highly desirable.

The successful applicant will join a multidisciplinary team across 4 Universities, with expertise in Socio-Digital Interaction, Co-design, Interactive Information Retrieval, and Computational Legal Theory.

They will contribute to investigating how small, apparently innocuous pieces of employees’ personal information, which are generated through interactions with/in networked systems over time, can collectively pose significant yet unanticipated risk to personal reputation and employers’ operational security. One of the key goals of the research is to enable individuals to manage their own digital footprints to mitigate this risk.

Closing Date: 13th May 2019

For further information and to apply, click here.


Paid Masters with the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation at Lancaster University and Trak Global.

Lancaster University

  • One year enterprise-led funded Masters by Research, Ref. No. 122
  • Get paid £15,000 tax-free
  • Have you tuition fees reduced. Your partner company pays £2,000 towards your fees, meaning UK/EU students pay £2,327, and international students pay £16,390.
  • Be part of the multi award winning Centre for Global Eco-Innovation with a cohort of 50 talented graduates working on exciting business-led R&D.
  • The Centre is based at Lancaster University, so you will gain your Masters from a Top Ten University, recognised as The Sunday Times University of the Year 2018.
  • Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas.

To discuss the position informally or if you have any questions, please contact Dr David Ellis (

Closing Date: 12th May 2019

For further information and to apply, click here.


Behavioural Analysis 2019

21-23 May 2019, Mall of America, Minneapolis, USA

Following the success of Behavioural Analysis 2018, which brought together 150 participants from 30 countries, Behavioural Analysis are excited to announce the 2019 conference.

Behavioural Analysis 2019 will offer valuable, practical insight into behavioural analysis techniques used to identify individuals with negative intent at large-scale sports and entertainment venues, transportation hubs, governmental institutions, and tourist attractions.

To find out more visit

A 15% discount applies if you cite the CREST newsletter on registering.


Out and about

  • Ben Lee, at Lancaster University, was selected by the UK’s Commission on Countering Extremism to contribute an expert essay. More information can be found here.
  • Matthew Francis delivered a lecture at Uppsala University, ‘Not another problematisation: ‘radicalisation’ and its discontents’.

Downloaded the free CSR app!

CREST Security Review has a new website and a mobile app to further broaden the way people can engage with its content.

The free app, available on both IOS and Android platforms provides a number of features:

      • Intuitive navigation – making it easy to browse issues and articles of interest.
      • Offline access –  read articles or whole issues by bookmarking them to read later.
      • Search and discover – navigate easily to the topics that interest you most as well as be alerted when new items are added.
      • Favourite articles – our synced bookmark feature allows you to conveniently store all your favourite CSR articles in one place, for you to access later via any of your devices.
      • Responsive design – you can read CSR on your mobile, iPad, Android tablet or desktop, meaning you no longer must download the pdf (although that option is still available).
      • New issue alerts – opt in for notifications and you’ll be the first to know when the latest issue arrives.

Alongside the mobile application, a new website at gives CSR its own home, making it easier to access, read and share articles. Favourites and bookmarks are synced with the application.

Download now:
Find the free mobile app on your app stores, or via this link at:
Access the new website direct at, and keep an eye out for our next issue, coming soon.

We want to know what you think! Do let us know what you think of our new app and website by emailing us at:


Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Watch CREST researchers talk about their topic of study

Last year we uploaded several videos of our researchers, talking about their studies, to our YouTube channel. These videos are another way to the share our fantastic CREST-funded research on security threats.

A year on and we catch up with familiar faces on their latest findings and where their research is headed, as well as introduce some of our new commissioned research. You can watch all the videos here.

What enables teams to work together effectively in extreme and difficult environments? Olivia Brown, in the second year of her CREST-funded doctoral research at the University of Lancaster is researching this question. Watch her talking about her research here, which has impact for teams from mountaineers to emergency services.

Subscribe to the CREST channel!

DON’T FORGET to subscribe to our channel – click the big red subscribe button here when logged into youtube. 

By subscribing new videos will automatically appear in your feed, and it’ll be easier to to find any CREST video without having to search manually for our channel.

We encourage you to share these videos, which you can also view on our website here

All of our videos are available under Creative Commons licence, which means you are free to share but please attribute by linking back to our youtube channel and website.

Read and share:

Copyright notice

We believe that our work should be shared as widely as possible. Therefore we licence all of our blogs, guides and other resources on this website under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 licence. This means that unless otherwise noted, you can republish our content online or in print for free (although you can’t sell it). You just have to credit us and link to us. For more information visit our copyright page.

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