SFIS Newsletter – July 2020

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Student at front of class

MS PIT application for fall 2020 now open

SFIS is offering a new master’s degree in public interest technology. This online degree program’s purpose is to create leaders who will imagine, design and use technology for social good. Apply now! The new degree program was recently featured in an ASU Now article

Kiki Jenkins

Helping shape the future of ocean science

Kiki Jenkins, SFIS associate professor and Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology doctoral program chair, has been appointed to the Ocean Studies Board (OSB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). Her work will help shape the future of ocean science. 

Solar Spell collage

ASU community continues humanitarian help remotely during pandemic

Public service work has continued during the pandemic. When the Peace Corps brought more than 7,000 volunteers around the world back to the United States in March, Laura Hosman saw an opportunity. The SFIS associate professor and inventor of SolarSPELL launched the Help from Home initiative. Peace Corps returnees can volunteer to collect content for SolarSPELL digital libraries and help expand the use of SolarSPELL around the world. 


Virtual workshops from the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes

CSPO recently hosted two webinars related to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you missed them, you can watch the recorded talks.

A global strategy for preventing the next pandemic

Protection of biodiversity and animal habitat need to be on the front lines of the fight against deadly diseases. Habitat destruction and the wildlife trade are just two of the unsustainable practices that are increasing the likelihood of diseases, such as COVID-19, making the leap from animals to humans. Conservation scientist Leah Gerber, the founding director of the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes at Arizona State University, proposes creating a global body to lead a sustained fight against the drivers of zoonotic disease.

Can voting by mail ensure a safe and secure election?

During a presidential election year, the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to disrupt the most important tenet of democracy: political representation. In response, many states are implementing or considering systems to allow citizens to vote by mail. Maria Carnovale, lead policy analyst at Duke University’s Initiative for Science and Society, discusses the challenges to scaling up vote-by-mail.

Funding light in our universities

How are universities finding opportunities for growth during the pandemic?A new article from the Risk Innovation Nexus highlights the COVID-related initiatives happening at ASU.


July 6: COVID-19, Supporting Learners, and the Responses of our Nation’s Community Colleges

July 10: Summer Digital Community Coffeehouse

July 13: Us in Flux: Conversations with author Usman Malik and architect and historian James Graham

July 15: CSI Skill Tree with game designer Katherine Buse and astrophysicist Steve Desch


Andrew Maynard
The Moviegoer’s Guide to the Future
June 16, 2020

Michael Bernstein 
Outbreaks, break-outs and break-times: Creating caring online workshops
June 16, 2020

Daniel Sarewitz
Five ways to ensure that models serve society: a manifesto
June 24, 2020

Netra Chhetri 
Securing Food amidst COVID-19 Pandemic Summary Report
Mid-Western University (MWU), Nepal

In the Media

LAndrew Maynard
Lack of standardised testing makes comparing nano skin tests hard
Chemistry World
June 2, 2020

Katina Michael 
Stop filming me! Self-serve checkout cameras prompt privacy fears
The New Daily
June 15, 2020

Katina Michael 
Facial surveillance is slowly being trialled around the country
ABC News
June 17, 2020

Daniel Sarewitz
Role models: need for responsible modelling in age of pandemic
Mirage News
June 24, 2020

Katina Michael
Australian security cameras hacked, streamed on a Russian-based website
ABC News
June 24, 2020