Category: Blog Posts

The IEEE Workshop on Electronics for mitigating Climate Change (EmC2)

By on October 31st, 2022 in Articles, Blog Posts, Conferences, Environment, Ethics, Human Impacts, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact, SSIT Announcements

The IEEE Workshop on Electronics for mitigating Climate Change (EmC2) will be a place to discuss issues arising by climate change such as the risk of passing a tipping point of planetary boundaries if we do not accelerate the path to reduce GHG emissions.

ISTAS 2022 – Nov 10-12, 2022

By on October 5th, 2022 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blog Posts, Call for Papers, Conferences, Environment, Ethics, Health & Medical, Human Impacts, Privacy & Security, Robotics, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact, SSIT 50th Anniversary, SSIT Announcements, Standards, Student Activities

“Digital and Societal Transformations” – Conference website here: https://www.istas22.org/

When Outlandish Science Fiction Becomes Real

By on September 5th, 2021 in Blog Posts, Case Studies, Environment, Health & Medical, Human Impacts, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

The nuclear anxiety of the Cold War now seems quaint. While speculative writers of the late 20th-early 21st centuries have largely relegated nukes to the past, the situation at San Onofre reminds us of our sins — of assuming the future would take care of the future. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission enabled this consensual hallucination. Did it take climate change into consideration?

Facing the Fragility of the Man-Made World

By on August 7th, 2021 in Articles, Blog Posts, Case Studies, Environment, Ethics, Human Impacts, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

When we see a built world, we tend to take its permanence and stability for granted. For those who have chosen coastal homes, that built world goes back at least 50 years, with few residents ever realizing that oceans, lakes, and rivers are living entities constantly in motion. The average person relies upon experts such as architects and civil engineers, and supposed guardrails such as state building codes and homeowner associations, to assess safety when purchasing property. But the 21st-century assumption that the built world is stable is a risky bet. Especially in “business-friendly” states. 

Living in a Kludge*: Do We Want to Save the Future?

By on January 17th, 2021 in Blog Posts, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Principles taught to STEM students state that “engineers must gain an understanding of all the issues surrounding a particular design challenge. These issues might include the need for the project, relevant social and economic conditions of the target population, and project constraints and requirements.” Engineers and problem-solvers are not the problem. Short-term thinking is the problem. Wishful thinking is the problem. “It will do for now” is the problem.

Does the Truth Matter?

By on May 27th, 2020 in Blog Posts, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

If only we knew more about the world that we live in. If only we understood that all things are interconnected. If only we could learn to value ethics above rank profiteering. We would make better decisions for ourselves and for our society. We would make good moral decisions. But we now know that access to factual knowledge does not necessarily improve the world. We are living that reality today.

Expedition map of Northwest Passage Project route and destinations

Science Communication, Digital Media, and the Human Voice

By on August 17th, 2019 in Blog Posts, Communication Technology, Environment, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Does access to science communication inevitably lead to greater public understanding of science, its discoveries, and their impact? Does access to online data sets inevitably lead to full comprehension of available information by scientists?