Rightful Place of Science-2


CSPO 20th Anniversary Conference: Rightful Place of Science-2


This spring, people will come together in what used to be a desert to help chart the future of society and technology.  

Second Decadal Rightful Place of Science Conference on May 9 and 10, 2019, in Tempe, Arizona.

If you enjoy jargon-filled talks and illegible PowerPoint slides, this is not the conference for you. But if you want to participate in a festival of brave ideas, challenging performances, weird technology, mesmerizing music and more, then JOIN US!

Register today


Conference Location

Tempe Mission Palms
60 E. 5th Street
Tempe, AZ 85281





Students - $150 through May 5. $180 as of May 6
Non-students - $325 through May 5.  $400 as of May 6

Register today


Tempe Mission Palms
60 E. 5th Street
Tempe, AZ 85281

We have a special room rate of $174/ night plus taxes.  

To book your room please contact Cindy Dick at cindy.dick@asu.edu.  Our room block runs from May 8-May 10.  

Thursday May 9, 2019

8:00 - 9:00am

Continental breakfast (break kiosk, Courtyard)

9:00 - 9:10am

Welcome (Abbey)
David Guston, Founding Director of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society
Dan Sarewitz, Director, Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes

9:10 - 10:10am

Rhythms, Algorithms, and Arrhythmia (Abbey)
Merlyna Lim, Canada Research Chair in Digital Media and Global Network Society with the School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University

10:10 - 10:40am

Break and Explorations (Abbey Patio and break kiosk, Courtyard)

 Sci-Fi Snug (Campanelli)

10:40-  11:40am

Blood on the Tweets: How to Have Knock-Down, Drag-Out Fights about Science, Technology and the Future in Social Media and Still Find Signs of Intelligent Life on the Internet (Abbey)
Charlie Oliver, CEO Tech 2025

Sci-Fi Snug (Campanelli)

11:40am - Noon

Migration and lunch buffet line (Abbey Patio)

Noon - 1:00pm

Plenary Talk - Escaping the Dystopia (Abbey)

Ramona Pringle, Associate Professor in the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University, and Director of The Innovation Studio

1:00 - 1:15pmMigration
1:15 - 2:15pm

Concurrent Activities:

Keys and Clues: A Game for connecting ideas Part 1 (Dolores)
Walter Valdivia, Senior Policy Editor for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and JP Nelson, Doctoral Student, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

 We Don't Need No Stinkin' Internet: Taking it All Offline with SolarSPELL (Colonnade)
Laura Hosman, Associate Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society and The Polytechnic School in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

Sci-Fi Snug (Campanelli)

2:15 - 2:20pmMigration
2:20 - 3:05pm

Concurrent Sessions:

The Arcology Project (Cavetto)
Clark Miller, Professor, School of the Future of Innovation in Society

Rightsizing Science’s Rightful Place (Dolores)
(Dolores)Susan Fitzpatrick, President of the James S. McDonnell Foundation

Sci-Fi Snug (Campanelli)

3:05 - 3:35pm

Break and Explorations (Abbey patio and break kiosk, Courtyard)

Sci-Fi Snug (Campanelli)

3:35 - 4:20pm

Concurrent Sessions: 

HELP! I’ve been implanted with a microchip… (Dolores)
Katina Michael, Director of the Center for Engineering, Policy and Society at Arizona State University; Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society and School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering

How Should Society Manage the Future of Science and Innovation? Let Women Decide (Colonnade)

Beth Raps

Acting Locally Is Like Looking Under The Streetlight: thoughts inspired by branded attire (Cavetto)
Lewis Gilbert

Sci-Fi Snug (Campanelli)

4:20 - 4:30pmMigration
4:30 - 5:30pm

Concurrent Sessions:

Science Art: A Way for Science to be Heard in an Information Saturated World (Abbey) 
Kiki Jenkins, Associate Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Play-writing as Slow Science (Delores) 
Gwen Ottinger, Associate Professor, Department of Politics and the Center for Science, Technology, and Society, Drexel University

Sci-Fi Snug (Campanelli)

5:30 - 6:30pmBreak

Zouk Dancing (Abbey Patio)

Sci-Fi Snug (Campanelli)

6:30 - 10:00pm

Dinner and Dancing (Palm Ballroom DEF)

Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra


Friday May 10, 2019

8:00 - 9:00amContinental breakfast (break kiosk, Courtyard)
9:00 - 10:00am

Keynote Presentation (Abbey)
Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University and Co-Founder, Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes

10:00 - 10:30am

Break and Explorations (Abbey Patio and break kiosk, Courtyard)

Sci-Fi Snug (Campanelli)

 10:30 - Noon

Concurrent Activities 

Keys and Clues: A Game for connecting ideas Part 2 (Dolores) 
Walter Valdivia, Senior Policy Editor for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and JP Nelson, Doctoral Student, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

AR @ ASU (Colonnade) 
Robert LiKamWa

Informal Science Education Demos and Videos (Cavetto)
Jeannie Colton

Civic Smart Cities (Sand Lotus – 2nd floor)
John Harlow, Smart City Research Specialist at Engagement Lab @ Emerson College

Sci-Fi Snug (Campanelli)

Noon - 1:30pm 

Lunch (Conference Dining Area)

Explorations (Abbey Patio)

Sci-Fi Snug (Campanelli)

 1:30 - 2:30pm

Concurrent Sessions 

The Political Economy of Publication: The Publication Industry Owns Us (Cavetto)
Mark Neff, Associate Professor of environmental policy at Western Washington University

Fight, Love, Wonder: Raising a Transgender Child (Colonnade)
Adam Briggle, Associate Professor in the Philosophy and Religion department at the University of North Texas

Making the apocalypse fun again: A how-to guide for surviving the zombie apocalypse with science (Dolores)
Athena Aktipis, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University

Sci-Fi Snug (Campanelli)

2:30 - 3:00pm

Break and Explorations (Abbey Patio and break kiosk, Courtyard)

Sci-Fi Snug (Campanelli)

3:00 - 3:15pmGroup Photo (Center of Courtyard)
 3:15 - 4:15pm

Keynote Presentation (Abbey)
DJ Spooky (Paul Miller), composer, multimedia artist and writer

4:15 - 5:00pm

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish (Abbey)
Dan Sarewitz, Director, Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes
David Guston, Founding Director of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society
Door Prizes & More




Adam Briggle

Adam Briggle

Fight, Love, Wonder: Raising a Transgender Child 

 Thanks to our media-saturated age, a generation of children is coming out, transitioning, and growing up openly transgender. We are one of those ‘out’ families, for better and worse. I use this talk as an occasion to reflect on the strategies for navigating this terrain and this unique cultural moment in time. I do so through the prism of that pregnant phrase: “the rightful place of science.” I use this as a lens to look at my own intersectional identities of advocate, father, and philosopher and their modalities of fight, love, and wonder. There is, I think, a place for science in the work of advocacy, but there is much fraught about this. I am thinking in particular of scientizing what are fundamentally religious battles and the scientism of seeking validation for lived experience and identity in a test tube. There is also a place for science in the loving work of parenthood, but this is more about the ethos of science than its methods or products. One must be radically open to the testimony of someone asking you to transcend certainties and dogmas. Yet I acknowledge there is something also un-scientific about this, because you must rest and stand in love without full understanding. You must keep at bay the urge to question, to doubt, to play the skeptic – and see always the person first and the research subject only when appropriate. For me, this has been the hardest part, and the part that often leaves me simply silently watching. The philosopher and the scientist share an origin story in the call to wonder. There is so much that I wonder about this issue. But wondering responsibly requires attunement to politics and questions about when wondering is liberating and when it is harmful. It may be that now is the time mostly for fighting and loving. Wondering may have to wait

About Adam

He is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy and Religion department at the University of North Texas. He holds a PhD in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado and served for three years as a postdoctoral fellow working on the philosophy of technology at the University of Twente in The Netherlands. His research and teaching interests focus on the intersections of ethics and policy with science and technology. He is author of A Rich Bioethics: Public Policy, Biotechnology, and the Kass Council (2010, University of Notre Dame Press), co-author of Ethics and Science: An Introduction (2012, Cambridge University Press), and co-editor of The Good Life in a Technological Age (2012, Routledge Press). He is also the author of A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking (2015, Liveright Press) and co-author with Robert Frodeman of Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of 21st Century Philosophy (2016, Rowman & Littlefield). He is a member of the Editorial Board for the journal Philosophy & Technology and serves on the Executive Committee of the Public Philosophy Network.


Michael Crow

He is an educator, knowledge enterprise architect, science and technology policy scholar and higher education leader. He became the sixteenth president of Arizona State University in July 2002 and has spearheaded ASU’s rapid and groundbreaking transformative evolution into one of the world’s best public metropolitan research universities. As a model “New American University,” ASU simultaneously demonstrates comprehensive excellence, inclusivity representative of the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the United States, and consequential societal impact.


Susan Fitzpatrick

Rightsizing Science’s Rightful Place

Academic science has, since the 1950s, continually grown larger. More space, more people, more funding has allowed the rightful place of science to infiltrate into every aspect of our lives.  To justify its largeness academic science makes bolder and bolder claims about the contributions it makes to society.   As a result, science now has and seeks ever more influence in spheres that are also the rightful place of other academic disciplines and other kinds of human knowledge.   When it is obvious that academic science is not achieving what it promised – the reason provided is that it is not yet big enough. Questioning whether or not this uncontrolled expansion is truly beneficial immediately brands one as “anti-science” - meaning the expressed  concerns can be dismissed with a hand-wave and need not be seriously considered or addressed. With science consuming so much of the oxygen in the room – little remains for other knowledge traditions to inhale. What if academic science was to become smaller? Would we get better, more thoughtful questions and hence more meaningful answers? Would we get better science (and less “stuff”) – science that does make meaningful contributions to our ongoing creative evolution?   Would we see more collaboration with and respect for the arts and humanities allowing deeper and broader exploration into the issues we care most about? While science has much to contribute, could smaller science acknowledge that many of the complex issues facing humankind are actually not solvable by science – or certainly not by science alone?  

About Susan

Susan M. Fitzpatrick is President of the James S. McDonnell Foundation, St. Louis, Missouri. The McDonnell Foundation is one of a limited number of international grant-makers supporting university-based research in biological, behavioral, and complex systems sciences through foundation-initiated programs. As President, Fitzpatrick serves as JSMF’s Chief Executive Officer.

Fitzpatrick received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Neurology from Cornell University Medical College (1984) and pursued post-doctoral training with in vivo NMR spectroscopic studies of brain metabolism/function in the Department of Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics at Yale University.

Fitzpatrick served as the Associate Executive Director of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis (1989-1992), a comprehensive basic science and applied science research center focused on restoring neurological function to persons with spinal cord injury. Her responsibilities included all public outreach and educational efforts and she served as the scientific liaison to the development, fundraising, and public relations staff. As Executive Director of the Brain Trauma Foundation (1992-1993), Fitzpatrick guided the Foundation through a re-organization. BTF is now a leader in advancing the acute care of patients with traumatic brain injury. Fitzpatrick joined the James S. McDonnell Foundation in 1993 as the Foundation’s first Program Officer. She was promoted to Program Director in 1997 and to Vice President in 2000. Fitzpatrick is an adjunct associate professor of Neuroscience and Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis) and teaches neuroscience in both lectures and seminars. Fitzpatrick lectures and writes on issues concerning applications of neuroscience to clinical problems, the translation of cognitive science to educational settings, the role of private philanthropy in the support of scientific research, and on issues related to the public dissemination of and understanding of science.

Fitzpatrick serves on the boards of the Ontario Brain Institute and Research!America, is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation Science Council, and is a member of International Advisory Council of the Rotman Institute for Philosophy. In July of 2018, Fitzpatrick was invited to serve as a member of the Santa Fe Institute Science Board. Fitzpatrick is a past member of the board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, and is a Past-President and former Chair of the Board of the Association for Women in Science. 


Lewis Gilbert

Acting Locally Is Like Looking Under The Streetlight: thoughts inspired by branded attire

The notion that “thinking globally, acting locally” will change the dynamics of CO2 in our atmosphere is wrong. For decades relatively affluent people in developed economies have asked, “what can *I* do” and calmed ourselves by regulating plastic. The light may be better, but the answer lies elsewhere.  

Changing the relationship between human decision making (intentionality) and atmospheric CO2 can be advanced by thinking about branded apparel. Many of us have multiple branded items with which we signal membership in smaller and larger groups. Our collections of t-shirts. jerseys and hats can be thought of as state variables for our tribalism. Differences and complexity regarding this state among individuals and groups may determine the aggregate impact of decisions made at smaller scales. 

In modeling increasing physical nuance in the climate system, we have again been searching under the streetlight. While such modeling may have import regarding predicting impacts, it ignores the dynamics of human intentionality and tells us nothing about how to assert our will on Earth’s atmospheric CO2 concentration. Research programs that explore the coupling across scales of human decision-making are needed if humans are to exert our will on the climate system.

About Lewis

Lewis E. Gilbert has worked primarily in large research universities throughout the 25+ years since he received his Ph.D. in geophysics from Columbia University.  In that time he has worked at the interface between the academic and organizational functions of universities and has striven to tune the overall impact of academic institutions to the betterment of the societies they serve.

Following his Ph.D. at Columbia University, Gilbert worked in the Office of the Vice Provost on the design and implementation of the Earth Institute and of its many components, including the Biosphere 2 Center, the International Research Institute for climate prediction, and what is now the School of International and Public Affairs Environment MPA.  In addition, he oversaw a $67M investment portfolio funded by proceeds from patents and licenses.

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Gilbert served as Associate Director, Interim Director and Director for Academic Programs in various combinations over 7 years.  During that time, he led the establishment of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI), overhauled the communication functions of the Nelson Institute, and designed what would become a university-wide office of sustainability.

At the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, Gilbert lead the evolution of the Institute from its origins as a small research organization to an organization with a self-sustaining institutional culture.  He again served an extended term as Interim Director during which time he improved morale and maintained strong programmatic momentum. Throughout his time at IonE, he managed a discretionary investment fund to ensure that outcomes-oriented programs and staff thrived and with an eye toward culture change and innovation throughout the University.

Throughout his career, Gilbert has thought and written about the relationship between humans and our planet.  This work is rooted in his commitment to creating a better future for humans on Earth (or wherever they may be) and has inspired his thinking about how knowledge institutions should be organized and about their responsibilities in society.  

John Harlow 

John Harlow

Balloons, BetaBlocks, and Civics in the Smart City
Smart city procurement is often based on only bilateral corporate-government communication. This precludes input from publics before technologies are installed and used in the public realm. In contrast, this session revolves around the question: How might publics exercise more influence over whether, when, and how technologies proliferate into the public realm? It begins by establishing the frames participants bring to smart city discourse, and then applies those frames to a  future smart city scenario.
Having surfaced some of the values people prioritize in thinking about smart cities, and the roles of publics within them, the session will engage a demo installation of theBetaBlocks exhibition. BetaBlocks are temporary local exploration zones, in Boston, that enable communities to consult, ideate, and experiment on how technologies are introduced into the public realm. BetaBlocks is an ongoing collaboration with the City of Boston, and the later part of the session will enlist the participants at RPS-2 to reflect on our approach and contribute to our iterative process. The role of publics in the appearance of technologies in the public realm is a complex and open question, and we are hoping that a refined BetaBlocks process becomes an ongoing part of Boston’s operations.
About John
John Harlow is the Emerson College Engagement Lab’s Smart Cities Research Specialist,
 an Affiliated Researcher at the Arizona State University Center for Smart Cities and Regions, and a Visiting Fellow at New York University'sGovLab. He is currently working on Boston’s Betablocks smart city action research project, a National Science Foundation grant to build a visual analytics tool for information deserts, Making Civic Smart Cities workshops, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant "Opening pathways for discovery, research, and innovation in health and healthcare." John’s prior work includes the design of the prioritization workshop that produced the first draft ofPhoenix's 2050 transportation plan, and project management and public engagement for Reinvent
 Phoenix’s rezoning around Phoenix's light rail."

Merlyna Lim

Rhythms, Algorithms, and Arrhythmia

Over the last couple years, questions about the status of truth and fact has acquired a pre-eminence in discussions and commentaries on the complex political landscape. Within this debate, algorithms are often cited as the source of blame for affording the conditions in which lies, disinformation, misinformation, and ‘fake news’ can thrive. Further, algorithms have been blamed for fueling the spread of extreme political movements, such as the alt-right and the far-right, and xenophobic rhetoric throughout the world.Reconsidering and, yet, decentering the role of algorithm, I argue that processes in which algorithms may have contributed to further discrimination, marginalization, radicalization, and other social problems, are not causative in nature. These processes are complex, gradual, and insidious, and, ultimately, cannot be separated from the more rhythmical societal arrangements. Social movements can be viewed as networks of people who challenge or maintain the status quo by moving together in coordinated and collectively shared rhythms over time and space. As we live in the mediated and mediatized and society, where media environments have become increasingly algorithmic, rhythmical practices have become increasingly entangled and influenced by algorithmical processes. Extending from my recently completed research ‘roots, routes, and routers,’ which examined the complexity of communication and media of social movements, my talk explores how both progressive and regressive movements come into being, and, further, how an algorithmic environment of social media is utilized in the process. Inspired by Henri Lefebvre’s work rhythmanalysis, I am proposing ‘algorhythmanalysis’ as a spatial-temporal framework for analyzing rhythmic and algorithmic patterns of urban and media spaces and their effects on the formation of collectives and communities.

About Merlyna

Merlyna Lim is a Canada Research Chair in Digital Media and Global Network Society with the School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University. Lim is also the Director and Founder of the Alternative Global Network (ALiGN) Media Lab. Lim’s research and teaching interests revolve around socio-political implications of media and technology, in relations to inequity/inequality, in/justice, and societal change. Using empirical evidence from the Global Souths, Lim’s current research attempts to explore and analyze digitization, datafication, algorithmization processes in diverse contexts and the implication of these processes in politics. Previously, Lim held research and teaching positions at Princeton University (CITP), Arizona State University (CSPO), and University of Southern California. In 2016, Lim is elected the member of the Royal Society of Canada's New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. 

Charlie oliver 

Charlie Oliver

Blood on the Tweets: How to Have Knock-Down, Drag-Out Fights about Science, Technology and the Future in Social Media and Still Find Signs of Intelligent Life on the Internet

The utopian, technologically advanced society that humanity has pined for in scifi movies for almost 100 years will not be gently handed to us, gift-wrapped on a doilie. Everyone knows that, whatever advanced, future society we ultimately and collectively agree to create, we will undoubtedly have to fight like hell for it and in ways that we could’ve never imagined just 10 years ago. For now, the main battlefield will be (and indeed, has been) social media. From Twitter, to Facebook. to Redditt and beyond, no holds barred “fist fights” involving scientists, technologists, journalists, institutions, the general public, and assorted trolls, have been playing out in true theatrical fashion across social media for quite some time now (The Science Museum And Natural History Museum Had a Massive Twitter Argument, And We Love It). But to what effect?

If you are published, popular, or simply have an opinion (especially a controversial opinion about science, technology and the future), you will, at some point, be challenged about your ideas or work publicly in social media (perhaps even by your own colleagues!). This is particularly stressful considering that everything we say and do online is eternally archived and readily retrievable for generations to come  – being publicly proven wrong, or losing a debate, has never carried such high stakes. But, say what we will about the degradation of respectful discourse due to social media, it is currently the only place where scientists and the general public, from all around the world, can come together on a somewhat level playing field and debate the most confounding topics, research and policies in science and technology today. How can we become more civil and constructive in our public discourse on these platforms? And how can we use these spats to engage the public in a more substantive way?

Starting with her own brutal, Twitter brawl last year with a famous AI scientist that drew the usual motley crew of commentators, nosey journalists, science groupies and faux-fighters, Charlie Oliver will provide a detailed analysis of the most contentious science/technology social media brawls over the past several years and explore what the data and fall-out around these social media spats tell us about ourselves and the future of public science discourse -- and why algorithms just might be the referees we need. Are these social media spats helping or hurting our causes? Are they impacting public policies? Do they engage the general public substantively or move the discussion forward?

How can we agree to disagree publicly in a way that will leave us more informed (rather than just validating our own point of view), more inspired, and more empathetic? Is social media really an accurate assessment of how people think and feel about science, technology and the future? Where are the nuances?

Charlie, who was born and raised in Brooklyn and is no stranger to fighting, will provide a step-by-step instructional guide for how to fight for your science-life on Twitter with purpose, power, and effectiveness, how to fight for the future without losing yourself in the present, and how to publicly accept the hypocrisy or fallacy of your own arguments (how to take an “L”) without feeling like a complete chump

Wear comfortable clothing.

About Charlie 

Charlie’s years of experience in the trenches of old media include working in advertising in New York at such media goliaths as BBDO Worldwide and Condé Nast, to producing sitcoms and dramas at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers, Dreamworks and Oscar-award winning indie production companies, to event management at the Sundance Film Festival. After spending several years in corporate law in document review at global firms (White & Case, Clifford Chance and Wachtel Lipton, to name a few), Charlie segued seamlessly into tech and new media as a web video producer where she co-created and co-produced experimental web video projects.

At Served Fresh Media, Charlie and her team provide digital strategy, senior management advisory, team building and training, strategic partnerships, event management, and product development for companies. In January 2017, driven by a passion to help the general public to understand and participate actively in the next technological revolution, Charlie launched Tech 2025 -- a community and platform for professionals to learn about the next wave of disruptive, emerging technologies and to facilitate discourse about the impact of these technologies on society. Having produced over 50 events since they launched, Tech 2025 gatherings have quickly gained a reputation for helping to further careers, ideas and relationships. Charlie’s philosophy is simple: "Be fearless and unapologetic in the fierce pursuit of your goals and be just as passionate about helping people."

Katina Michael 

Katina Michael

HELP! I’ve been implanted with a microchip…

I have been studying non-medical implantable devices in humans since 1997. Over the last two decades I have received numerous emails from individuals who are adamant that they have been forcibly implanted with a microchip. Individuals believe their thoughts can be read, their movements can be tracked, and their bodily functions controlled, all through a tiny microchip implant that has purportedly been injected somewhere on their body, usually in their head, ear, groin, leg or hand. Chip implanted persons that go by various names including “the tortured” or “the targeted” allege they have been injected without their consent at the hands of a callous surgeon, violent partner, controlling employer, totalitarian government or defense force running experimental trials of behavioural “programming” and “control”. Descriptions of the alleged microchip that is purported to have been injected include: “a microchip”, “an RFID”, “nano implant”, “neural implant”, “smart dust” or “mote”. Of the few sufferers who refuse to take a simple x-ray but seek further medical attention from mental health professionals, great emphasis is placed on citing reports that usually depict non-medical applications of under the skin implantables as proof of their own body’s intrusion by a third party. Given the advancement of the new technologies, I am now fielding telephone calls from health practitioners who wish to know whether or not such forced implantation without the knowledge of the bearer is possible. It’s time we talk about what’s going on, and the potential for this kind of health condition to spiral out of control in the future.

About Katina

Katina is the Director of the Center for Engineering, Policy and Society at Arizona State University. She holds a joint appointment in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering. Katina has been studying non-medical applications of microchip implants since her undergraduate capstone project in 1994. She is the founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society.


Gwen Ottinger

Play-writing as Slow Science

Plays have stakes. The most compelling plays have the highest stakes: Survival. Love. Honor. Science and science policy research have stakes, too, but they can be harder to imbue with passion and urgency, especially when starting from an academic framework. Can play-writing help raise the stakes on science policy research? That is, could a play better communicate the emotional, intellectual, and political stakes of academic research and, as a result, connect more people with its significance? This session dramatizes the scholar-playwright’s quest to take her research findings to the stage, and reflects on how she found greater meaning in them in the process. 

About Gwen

Gwen Ottinger is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Drexel University, where she directs the Fair Tech Collective, a research group dedicated to using social science theory and methods to inform the development of technology that fosters environmental justice.  She is author of Refining Expertise: How Responsible Engineers Subvert Environmental Justice Challenges (winner of 2015 Rachel Carson Prize from the Society for Social Studies of Science). She is also an emerging playwright whose plays have been featured in new works festivals in the Delaware Valley.  


Ramona Pringle

Escaping the Dystopia
 These days, it’s hard not to be nostalgic for the “early years” of social media, when new tools promised to help us become better versions of ourselves, connect with friends and relatives around the globe, and collectively build our knowledge.
But what at first seemed to be growing pains, turned into something arguably much darker, with networks held hostage by greedy corporations, algorithms gone awry and the viral spread of fake news, the manipulation of data for partisan political gain and the rise of hate-fueled violent content.
When it comes to our relationship to social media, we have passed a tipping point into the dystopian future, without ever having really noticed it happening, or consenting to it in a truly informed way. And that has implications for tech companies, for users, and for marketers.
So, what’s the path forward? Is there a way out? What can we anticipate in the next ten years, and how can we take back control over our information – and our attention – to shape the future we want?  
About Ramona

Ramona is an Associate Professor in the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University, and Director of The Innovation Studio, a creative network comprised of three incubators, the Transmedia Zone, Design Fabrication Zone, and Fashion Zone, as well as the Global Campus Studio, a unique digital studio devoted to fostering international co-productions through the use of contemporary collaboration tools.

As a writer, producer, researcher and journalist, Ramona’s work examines the evolving relationship between humans and technology. She is a technology analyst and columnist for CBC, where she tackles current affairs and expLores the impact of technology and social media on all aspects of people’s lives, from work to relationships.

Ramona was the writer and director of the interactive documentary “Avatar Secrets, the interactive producer of PBS Frontline’s “Digital Nation,” and editor in chief of “Rdigitalife”.

Ramona’s projects have been featured at festivals and conferences including i-docs, Power to the Pixel, TFI Interactive, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Hot Docs, SXSW, NXNE, Social Media Week, TEDx, and in publications including the New York Times, Mashable, Cult of Mac and the Huffington Post.

Ramona has a Master’s Degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.


Beth Raps

How Should Society Manage the Future of Science and Innovation? Let Women Decide

When the stakes are high, as they are vis-a-vis the future of science and innovation, we should task women with the decision. Women are paid less, so this will cost society less. Women bear life directly and can get pregnant, so they tend to think longer-term than men. Women get down to brass tacks quicker and are used to having less money to work with: what will it cost? how can we use what we already have before buying something new? There are many ways women are more practical than men. Other reasons will round out my appropriately controversial proposals. (Note: My talk is only partly ironic, in the spirit of Jonathan Swift's "Modest Proposal.") I will also offer that gender nonconforming people should operate an institute for training men to think like women and women to think like men, so that at some point, we actually learn to think, act, and make policy (= understanding, anticipating and managing the future) like whole people.

About Beth

Beth G. Raps, PhD is an independent scholar living in the mountains of southwest Virginia, whence she works remotely as an organizational development consultant, money coach, book coach, copyeditor, writer, and organizer of Beloved Community. She is also a multiply published translator from French with several academic presses. Her websites are <www.raisingclarity.com> and <bethrapsblog.wordpress.com>. In 2006, she was the founder of the first US nonprofit on adaptation policy, the Adaptation Network, a project of the Earth Island Institute. Her 2001 PhD dissertation was "An Ecology of Knowledge: How the Academic Community Relates to Epistemic Difference"; she is the author of "Breathing While Black: An Ecology of Knowledge Approach to Equity, Assessment, and Adaptation in Climate-Change Policymaking" (2002), presented at the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources' conference on environmental justice; '"Since You Cannot Find It, Create It": Beloved Community Organizing" (2015), presented at the Josiah Royce Society meeting of the Eastern American Philosophical Association; and the prizewinning "In Science Communication, Why Does the Idea of a Public Deficit Always Return?" (2016) published in Public Understanding of Science. 


DJ Spooky

Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky is a composer, multimedia artist and writer whose work immerses audiences in a blend of genres, global culture, and environmental and social issues. His written work has been published by The Village Voice, The Source, and Artforum, among others, and he is the Editor of Origin Magazine. Miller’s work has appeared in the Whitney Biennial; The Venice Biennial for Architecture; the Ludwig Museum in Cologne; Kunsthalle, Vienna; The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, the Miami/Art Basel fair, and many other museums and galleries. Miller’s award-winning book “Rhythm Science” was published by MIT Press 2004, and was followed by “Sound Unbound,” an anthology about electronic music and digital media, in 2008. “The Book of Ice”, an experiential visual and acoustic portrait of the Antarctic, was published in 2011 by Random House.

Kiki Jenkins 

Kiki Jenkins

Science Art: A Way to Science to be Heard in an Information Saturated World

In this era of information saturation it can be a struggle to communicate science to the public in meaningful ways. This presentation will explore the utility of science arts, especially dance, for science communication and education. The audience will be introduced to this concept through a sensory experience of comparing traditional forms of science communication with science art. I will lead the audience in an exercise to note how the different forms of science communication and science art influence their questions, thoughts, idea, opinions, and emotions. The presentation will briefly report the results of two studies, one which surveyed and characterizes the environmental science art movement and another which explores participatory methods for and benefits of creating science dances.  The latter will be presented in the form of a short film. Finally, volunteers from the audience will then take part in a participatory dance exercise to communicate the core message of a recent science paper. In the course of these exercises and discussions, the presentation will highlight the benefits of using art as a means of science communication in comparison to more traditional forms of communication. 

About Kiki

Kiki pioneered a new field of study with the invention and adoption of marine conservation technology. She has received numerous awards, including the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Ocean Sciences, for her work in this area. At SFIS, she is combining her research with her talents as a dancer and choreographer to explore how dance can contribute to science communication, science education, and social change

Clark Miller 

Clark Miller

The Arcology Project
About Clark

Clark is an expert in the critical analysis and design of knowledge systems and transitions in human-technology relations. He works with scientists in many fields, including energy and climate, biodiversity, neuroscience, disability, urban infrastructure, geoengineering, and nanotechnology,  to create new models of innovation that advance sustainability and social responsibility, reduce inequalities, and improve human outcomes.

Mark Neff  

Mark Neff

The Political Economy of Publication: The Publication Industry Owns Us

In pursuit of the ideal of self-governance, the research community has actively shielded researcher evaluation from overt political influence.  By doing so, we have blinded ourselves to the influence of – and thus made our work subservient to – profit-oriented publishing companies. We increasingly tie researcher evaluation to simplistic productivity metrics, inflating both the supply of and the demand for journals and articles. Publishers approach potential editors with flattering requests to found new journals. All parties market and curate their journals to achieve entry and prestige in the Journal Citation Index, a database designed for profitability. The database and its Impact Factor now represent systematic pressures shaping the content and conduct of research. Researchers do the labor of researching, writing, editing, and reviewing article submissions. Society pays for the conduct of research, for its publication, and for access to results. These dynamics have yielded annual profit margins for some publishing companies in the range of 40%. Meanwhile, institutions and entire nations have lost access to the results of research that they fund and that their researchers have conducted. The net result is a dramatic increase in quantitative productivity and arguable decreases in research quality, reliability, relevance, and accessibility to potential knowledge users.

About Mark

Mark Neff is an associate professor of environmental policy at Western Washington University. He recently completed a 3-year comparative study of how research incentives shape the content and conduct of research in the Americas and serves in multiple roles helping Western Washington University Libraries cope with the changing publication industry. 


Walter Valdivia

Keys and Clues: A Game for connecting ideas

Come to play a game about connecting important ideas for the future of innovation in society (Keys) with sources of inspiration (Clues). Think of it as building the canon of the school by means of mapping constellations of ideas. Clues will comprise the usual suspects (seminal books and papers), but there is a twist, you should include songs, poems, short stories, novels, anything that inspired you to think big ideas. First, you will take on the challenge of re-building the map of ideas by an idiosyncratic thinker. Then you will amend, correct, and expand that map. Last, offer your own map for the benefit of students and colleagues. Playing this game, you will make new and unexpected connections.

About Walter

Walter D. Valdivia is a Senior Policy Editor for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and Adjunct Faculty at SFIS. Previously he was a Senior Fellow at CSPO-DC and a Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He studies S&T policy and the governance of innovation. Valdivia holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration and an M.S. in Economics from Arizona State University, and a B.S. from Universidad Católica Boliviana.

Athena Aktipis 

Athena Aktipis

Making the apocalypse fun again: A how-to guide for surviving the zombie apocalypse with science
How do humans behave in times of disaster? In this talk, I will discuss what we know about human behavior in times of need - describing work in The Human Generosity Project. I will discuss how humans help one another in disasters - both large and small - and what that can tell us about human nature. We study societies around the world to uncover the science of generosity, from the supposedly uncooperative Ik people of Uganda, to ranchers in the southwest United States who have a reputation for extreme self-reliance. Our computational models allow us to ask whether helping others in times of need is a viable survival strategy. We find that generosity helps people survive in harsh and unpredictable environments. So, what can the science of human generosity teach us about how to survive and prepare for potentially catastrophic futures? And how can we make the process of thinking about - and talking about - apocalyptic scenarios fun so that we can use our collective brainpower to mitigate disaster with creativity and excitement? I will end by discussing several outreach and education initiatives that aim to engage diverse scholars and the general public in these questions by using the zombie apocalypse as a framework for interdisciplinary discussion. So, how can we survive the zombie apocalypse with science? By sharing our brains.
About Athena
Athena Aktipis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University and co-Director of The Human Generosity Project. She studies cooperation across systems from human sharing to cancer. She is also the chair of the Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting; and is about to launch a new podcast, Zombified, about the forces beyond our control that hijack our brains and behavior.
 Laura Hosman

 Laura Hosman

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Internet: Taking it All Offline with SolarSPELL

The Internet is an incredible invention—without a doubt! Those of us connected 24/7 likely (mostly) appreciate the ability to shop, find information, live-stream music or events, pay bills, communicate, express ourselves…the list goes on and on. And most of us want everyone else in the world to have these same possibilities. The first half of the world’s population now (theoretically) has access to the Internet—let’s have half a hurrah! A party in Paris to celebrate!

Yet, the other half will be much more difficult to connect, especially since most of the hyper-connected forget about all the other pre-requisites that make online conveniences possible, such as having content available in a language that you understand, or being in a country with a functional banking system, or with a functional government that doesn’t block sites or spy on you, or being able to afford data…or electricity—again, the list goes on. The obstacles are not just infrastructural, economic, political, technological, or cultural—they’re all of the above!

Yes, and…let’s hear it for the other benefits those of us who are lucky enough to be online can experience—cyberbullying and cyber stalking, digital identity theft, online trolling, gaming- and other online addictions, social media-induced insecurity and depression, shortened attention spans (it’s a wonder you’re still reading this!).

This leads me to say: The Internet ain’t all that. I’ve got a great idea for making offline a cooler place than online.


About Laura

Dr. Laura Hosman is Associate Professor at Arizona State University, holding a joint appointment in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and in The Polytechnic School. Her action-oriented work focuses on the role for new technologies in developing countries, particularly in education. Presently, she brings her passion for experiential learning to the classroom and beyond, through real-world-focused, project-based courses that bring students and student-built technology to the field for implementation.

Thursday Night Banquet Dinner Entertainment

Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra