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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge
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    Dr Lydia Wilson

    Murray Edwards College
    Huntingdon Road
    CB3 0DF

    Postdoctoral Bye Fellow in Middle Eastern Studies

    Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

    I’m delighted to be returning to Murray Edwards, where I studied Natural Sciences as an undergraduate. The friendly and supportive atmosphere is unchanged, making it truly collegial in the best possible sense.


    BA, MA, MPhil, PhD (all Cantab.)

    Awards & Prizes             

    • 2010-2012, Newton Fellowship, University of Cambridge
    • 2012-2014 Mellon Fellowship, City University New York

    Research Interests          

    Extremism, radicalisation, social conflict; Middle East politics, society and history


    After an undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences at Murray Edwards (or rather New Hall as was), my career has spanned a number of disciplines and sectors. My MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science led to an interest in medieval Arabic philosophy and science, and after a year in Syria learning Arabic I did a PhD on the 10th century philosophy Al-Farabi. After a postdoc in museum studies, on the heritage of 20th and 21st century science, I went to City University New York to join the Mellon Committee for Religion, stimulated by a field trip in Iraq exploring extremism and violence in 2011. I continued this work throughout a fellowship at the Centre for Resolution of Intractable Conflict at the University of Oxford, whilst also doing consultancy work in countering violent extremism for UN agencies and governments. With lockdown, fieldwork became impossible, and my attention turned to online extremism; I joined the Computer Lab at Cambridge in December 2020, working with the team in the Cybercrime Centre analysing online extremist material using a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques.