De Montfort University Kathleen Richardson

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De Montfort University Kathleen Richardson

Dr Kathleen Richardson

Job: Senior Research Fellow in the Ethics of Robotics

Faculty: Technology

School/department: School of Computer Science and Informatics

Research group(s): Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR)

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

Tel: +44 (0)116 207 8584




Ethical Campaigning Work

Director of the Campaign Against Sex Robots

Kathleen Richardson is Senior Research Fellow in Ethics of Robotics and part of the Europe-wide DREAM project (Development of Robot-Enhance Therapy for Children with AutisM).

Kathleen completed her PhD at the Department of Anthropology, University of Cambridge. Her fieldwork was an investigation of the making of robots in labs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After her PhD Kathleen was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow (BAPDF), a position she held at the University College London. Kathleen’s postdoctoral work was an investigation into the therapeutic uses of robots for children with autism spectrum conditions. In 2013, she was part of the Digital Bridges Project, an innovative AHRC funded technology and arts collaboration between Watford Palace Theatre and the University of Cambridge.

Kathleen is author of An Anthropology of Robots and AI: Annihilation Anxiety and Machines. She is now working on her second manuscript The Robot Intermediary? An Anthropology of Attachment and Robots for Children with Autism.

In 2015 she, along with her colleague launched the Campaign Against Sex Robots to draw attention to problematic effects on new technologies on human relations, and their potential impact to create new layers of inequalities between men and women and adults and children. She advocates a compassionate and violence free technology based on freedom ethics and is critical of coercive and violent models of human lived life that are transferred to the making of new technologies. Richardson is developing a theory of robotics inspired by anti-slavery abolitionist feminism.


  • PhD (2008) Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge
  • MPhil (2001) Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge
  • MSc (1999) Development, Planning and Administration, Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning. University College London
  • BA (Hons) (1998) Anthropology and Linguistics. University College London