Visit by Tom Cartmill (University of Melbourne) at iScience research colloquium

Yesterday, at our iScience research colloquium, we had a great, young junior scientist from Melbourne. Tom Cartmill is a Clinical Psychologist and undertaking his Ph.D. at the University of Melbourne, Australia in Monica Whitty’s group. Yesterday, he introduced us to key insights into his dissertation on radicalization.

Abstract of his Ph.D. thesis:

Radicalisation is a complex phenomenon that creates, sustains and amplifies internal, interpersonal, group and political chaos. The pointy end of radicalisation, terrorism, has been described as a form of communicative violence. Cyberspace as a relatively modern and rapidly evolving communicative and cultural medium appears to play a role in intensifying salience of extreme views. This presentation will explore the problem of radicalisation and how it may manifest in cyberspace. It is possible that radicalisation constitutes a ‘wicked problem’, i.e. one that is indeterminate, non-definitive in solution and unfortunately insoluble. Scholars have considered cyber-radicalisation through a variety of lenses including identity theory, communication and network theory and narrative theory. Despite these insights, effective solutions are yet to, and may never, emerge. Partial, linear explorative research methods have limited opportunity for success in investigation of complexity. This presents the necessity of a creative approach and recognition of the extent of the challenge.


After the research colloquium, we were with Tom Cartmill at a local Italian restaurant (Tom’s favorite food), where he told us, among other things, his preferences between Batman and Spiderman. Check out the short interview with Tom below:


Do you put the ketchup on the fries or next to the fries?

Definitely on the side. Cause you don’t want to get soggy potatoes.

Ketchup, mayonnaise, or both?

I wouldn’t be mayonnaise, and I would take ketchup if I had to choose.

Is it your first visit to Konstanz? What are your first impressions of Konstanz?

It’s the first visit, yes. Everybody is really friendly! And it’s beautiful. I really like the water! And the university is really pretty which I know not everybody agrees with, but I thought it was great architecture!

Who would win a fight between Spiderman and Batman?

Spiderman. But only because I actually haven’t watched the Batman movie.

Related to your theory and topic and talking about Spiderman and Batman, who do you think radicalizes more easily?

I don’t know Batman, so well. I know that Batman has a dark side, so maybe he polarizes more. Spiderman has better ethics, and he thinks about “with great power comes great responsibility.”

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be an astronaut.


Thanks for visiting us, Tom!

By the way: It’s only four days left for our Early bird registration of our 3rd Summer School on Internet-based Data Collection and Analysis in Decision Making on September 09-13, 2019 at the University of Konstanz. Apply until August 15 (for Early bird fee by July 15) here.