The plethora of research and thinking on the social implications of technology is, arguably, not yet on the radar of many non-specialists, or hard to find for those who are aware and interested in this rapidly evolving topic. In 2018, many people express anxiety about technology and its implications for their lives: digital privacy, surveillance/uberveillance, loss of control over personal data, genetic manipulation, automation and robotics, net neutrality (or the lack thereof), and abuses of social media. The societal optimism of the Space Age has become a tentative wariness. SSIT can play a significant role in the ensuing dialog.
The opportunity to connect with a broader audience is both appealing and essential to the public service that SSIT seeks to provide its readers of the SSIT Technology and Society website and Blog. This month, September 2018, SSIT launches FutureProof, a refereed blog of concise, authoritative posts surfacing critical topics on the social implications of technology while providing additional content resources. FutureProof will feature scholarly authors and experts in the fields of engineering, sociology, automation, privacy, exploring the many facets encompassed by the study of societal implications of technology.
Goals and Tenets
Goals for the blog include:
■ Providing informed perspective on current events;
■ Serving as a resource to media, educators, and the public;
■ Pointing readers to the deep resources inside SSIT archives;
■ Expanding the awareness of the social implications of technology.
These goals are supported by SSIT’s five pillars:
■ Sustainable Development
■ Ethics and Human Values
■ Universal Access to Technology
■ Societal Impacts
■ Protecting the Planet.
Also beginning in September 2018, SSIT announces the appointment of new SSIT Blog editor Cia Romano. Romano is a human-factors analyst, specializing in usability and permission-based digital design. Romano is a lifelong student of the societal impact of technology, with a special interest in the perspective provided by expressions of technological anxiety in popular culture. She has tested and evaluated digital products for projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, focusing on public engagement with science.