SFIS Newsletter – August 2020

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female student working together

ASU Peace Corps agreement to expand SolarSPELL learning platform’s reach

The Peace Corps and Arizona State University have signed a strategic agreement that will help Peace Corps volunteers in the field advance their humanitarian work by using an educational device invented by SFIS Associate Professor Laura Hosman. Under the memorandum of understanding, which was marked with a virtual celebration on July 10, Peace Corps volunteers will have wide latitude to use the SolarSPELL portable library. The solar-powered device has already been used informally by Peace Corps volunteers who serve in communities without internet service.

Katherine Ball

Empowering the community in marine policy

Katherine Ball, a Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology PhD student, is taking her passion for the ocean to Washington, D.C. She has been named a finalist for the 2021 class of the Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program. The fellowship places graduate students in federal government offices in Washington, where they will learn about and help shape national policy decisions affecting ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources. 

Image of blocks stacked like Tetris

ASU researchers launch blog series exploring equitable research practices

As public attention has turned to systemic inequities in institutional cultures like those in police forces, medical care, school systems and food production, some researchers at Arizona State University are turning their attention to academic culture to explore how researchers might embody more equitable research practices. SFIS doctoral candidate Taylor Genovese has helped launch a new series, “Embodying Reciprocity: Relationality and Redistribution in Anthropology,” along with ASU postdoctoral scholar Schuyler Marquez and University of Chicago doctoral candidate Sonia Grant.

yellow subway tile

Who benefits from science?

Summer 2020 Issues in Science and Technology

Advancing science and technology without regard to outcomes—as a new $100 billion technology bill introduced in Congress proposes to do—is relatively straightforward. Advancing science and technology in a way that helps to address the knowledge and innovation needs of the nation is much more difficult. But that’s the sort of challenge that today’s civil and political unrest (and the legacy of neglect on which they build) indicate should be at the center of public investments in science and technology—and is the focus of many of the articles in the Summer 2020 Issues in Science and Technology.

Fall 2020 plans

ASU is preparing for the return to campus this fall. The university is taking several steps to ensure student, faculty and staff safety, including enhanced cleaning protocols, required face coverings and COVID-19 testing. 


Miachel Bernstein

Assistant Research Professor Michael Bernstein and co-authors have published “Improve Alignment of Research Policy and Societal Values” in Science, addressing the alignment of research policy and societal values.


Kiki Jenkins

Kiki Jenkins, SFIS associate professor and Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology doctoral program chair, has been appointed to the COMPASS’ Leaders for Sea Change and SPLINE (STEMed Project Leaders Inclusivity NEtwork) programs.

Faheem Hussain

Clinical Assistant Professor Faheem Hussain gave a presentation on Solidarity, Leadership, Negotiation, and ICT among the Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh at the 2020 International Conference of Information and Communication Technologies on Development. 

Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty

Assistant Professor Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty presented in the recent Moon Dialogs Research Salon: “Safety Zones in Practice and Lessons from Earth,” where she discussed mission operator and international law perspectives on establishing safety zones on the lunar surface. She was also recently named as one of Arizona’s Greatest Storytellers.

Professor Katina Michael

Professor Katina Michael shared a personal story of her sister’s schizophrenia diagnosis, “Our Story of Schizophrenia,” and how her family stayed strong to provide love and support during the most challenging times


Nate Wade

Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology (HSD) alumni Nate Wade will co-lead COVID-19 Diagnostics Commons, an interactive hub for the global community to access information about testing options and share knowledge and practices for safely bringing employees back into the workplace during the COVID-19 era


August 5: Public Interest Technology: A Leading Discussion

August 7: Digital Community Coffeehouse

August 10: Us in Flux: Conversations—Ernest Hogan and Frederick Luis Aldama

August 19: La Cohesión Social en Tiempos de Crisis/Social Cohesion in a Time of Crisis

August 20: Fall 2020 Semester Begins


Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty
Safety Zones in Practice and Lessons from Earth
Moon Dialogs Research Salon
June 5, 2020

Laura Hosman and Martín Pérez Comisso 
How do we understand “meaningful use” of the internet? Of divides, skills and socio-technical awareness
Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 
June 13, 2020

Laura Hosman and Martín Pérez Comisso
Building online skills in off-line realities
First Monday
June 15, 2020

Nicholas Weller, Mahmud Farooque
Blinded by the Frontier
Issues in Science and Technology 
June 17, 2020

Andrew Maynard
Notes on estimating personal risk of contracting COVID19 while attending class
June 29, 2020

Michael Bernstein
mprove alignment of research policy and societal values
July 3, 2020

Katina Michael 
Our Story of Schizophrenia
July 29, 2020

Erik Johnston, Margaret M. Hinrichs and Jieshu Wang 
For Impactful Community Engagement: Check Your Role
Communications of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery)
July 2020

Erik Fisher 
Governing Technoscience in Society: Tracing the Dialectics of Enthusiasm, Ambivalence, and Adjustment

In the Media

Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty
The Experts Speak: An Interview with Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty, PhD
New Space
June 12, 2020

Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty 
Arizona’s Greatest Storytellers
June 16, 2020

Brian David Johnson 
Cybersecurity in 10 years: How to protect against all the possibilities
Mastercard Newsroom
January 5, 2021

AKatina Michael
Concern over the increasing use of facial recognition in CCTV cameras
Australian Broadcasting Corporation 
June 17, 2020

Heather Ross and Anna Muldoon 
A day in the life of a contact tracer
The Lily
June 29, 2020

Brian David Johnson
Sentient’ homes and ‘intelligent’ food could feature in the lives of our children 30 years from now: Futurist taps into kids’ imaginations to predict ‘what’s next’ for society
Daily Mail
July 23, 2020