This dissertation will defend challenge and qualify the term “technologies of public space” in an effort to better understand what good public space looks like in an era of declining capital investment and rising online social interaction. The general consensus of urban sociologists, city planners, and technologists is that physical public space is in decline and the social web (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit) is rising to take its place. Recent developments in theorizing social action on the web however, suggest that online and offline social action are not a zero-sum game. Rather than impeding or slowing the development of public space, social media is radically changing what public space looks likes, how it behaves, and how individuals interact with each other and the built environment.
This conference seeks new approaches to interweaving social justice and science/technology. Some that are already known include DIY and “maker” communities, Open Source Science, “Technologies for Non-violent Social Change,” and other new hybrid forms of collaboration that put technoscience in the hands of non-experts, local communities, indigenous groups and the less powerful. Typical approaches to “ethics in science” treat ethics as a police officer that operates at the borders, slapping science on the wrist when it over-steps. How can we treat ethics instead as a pro-active force, integrated from the start? Social scientists studying scientific controversy may know very little about the particulars of the science, and the scientist embroiled within the controversy may not know very much about the dynamics of communities or the relations of power between experts and the public. This conference will highlight ways to provoke engineers, social scientists, and the educators of future thinkers into considering new and innovative methods of merging social and technical dimensions of science and engineering research, teaching and practice. It will contribute to the possibilities for a “two way bridge” across the lay/expert divide; one in which social justice is informed by technoscience and not just technoscience informed by social justice. To this end, we are looking for papers and proposed panels that can discuss transformative possibilities for every level of making science, scientists, technology, engineers, and knowledge. Existing categories in which pertinent (and important) discussions are taking place are, but is not limited to, K-12 STEM education, advanced pedagogy in the natural/physical/life sciences, ethics, public engagement/understanding of science, theoretical and social studies on information and communication technology, political sociology of science, Science and Technology Studies, appropriating technology, feminist studies, emerging nanotechnology, postcolonial studies, engineering education, urban studies, and experimental art. Continue reading about this project.
Condoms are easy to find, but can still be intimidating to buy for most Ghanaians. One technosocial fix that we are currently exploring, is a system networked condom vending machines that will provide anonymity and privacy for the purchaser of condoms. These machines will be paired with the SMS Condom Finder to make them easier to find, but still private to use. We plan on releasing instructions on how to purchase, build, and maintain these machines so that local Ghanains can build businesses selling condoms. Continue reading about this project.
In conjunction with Dr. Aundrey Bennett's AIDS awareness campaign "Show AIDS the Red Card" I conducted interviews in Kumasi, Ghana to collect data on cell phone usage, access to condoms, and city navigation. This work is being sponsored by NSF's GK12 grant lead by Dr. Ron Eglash. Our software developer is John Licato. Continue reading about this project.
As part of the NSF-funded GK12 grant, I enrolled a team of undergrads from RPI's Product Design Studio to build DNA Rockstar!. By utilizing a popular (and familiar) game metaphor, students learn the structure of DNA and what roll it plays within organisms. A poster on the developmnet of the game won a Certificate of Achievement Award at the NSF's annual GK-12 Fellow's Conference in Washington D.C. It has also been accepted to the poster session at the Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation. The development team members were Barrett Rehr (Technical Director); Bryan Fonder (Graphic Designer); Katie Francoeur (Creative Director); Kevin Young (Lead Programmer); and Tom Holland (Project Manager). Continue reading about this project.
Over the summer of 2010, I worked with seven other grad students from multiple disciplines on a state-level analysis of green job creation. I covered Florida and Minnesota. The work was sponsored by the National Science Foundation's grant "The Greening of Economic Development” (SES-0947429) under the direction of Dr. David J. Hess. The entire white paper and bios of the authors can be found at: http://www.davidjhess.org/greenjobs.html