SFIS Newsletter - February 2018

Eradicating Poverty through Energy Innovation

Eradicating poverty through energy innovation

How can investments in energy development be used not only to achieve carbon neutrality, but also to advance human thriving and eliminate inequalities worldwide? To explore solutions to this question, SFIS hosted the first in a new series of conferences titled Eradicating Poverty through Energy Innovation (EPEI) in February. The conference welcomed participants with diverse expertise from 11 countries and five continents to share research and experiences and deliberate on strategies for creating pathways to full energy access in areas that don’t currently have electricity. Outcomes including reports and a video series of presentations and activities from the conference are under construction and will be linked from the conference site. Read more in this article on ASU Now.

Coming soon - Luna City: 2175

Emerge 2018
Join us for the annual presentation of Emerge: the festival of futures on March 17-18, 2018. For this year’s theme, Luna City: 2175, Emerge will transform the state-of-the-art Galvin Playhouse on ASU’s Tempe Campus into a rich theatrical experience grounded in space science research and the inspirational vision of our Writer At Large, Kim Stanley Robinson. Come see, hear, touch, smell, and play the future in our unfolding story of human habitation beyond Planet Earth.

RSVP for tours scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday or visit the Emerge website for more information.

ASU Day at the Capitol

ASU Day at the Capitol
SFIS participated in ASU’s Day at the Capitol to raise awareness among Arizona’s legislators about the research and learning that is taking place at the University. Assistant Professor Laura Hosman’s SolarSPELL project was featured as a prime example of projects that are having impact around the world. The SolarSPELL is a portable, solar-powered unit that can be used to provide an internet-like experience to people in remote areas without access to electricity or internet. Content specific to the desired area and audience is loaded into the device which then can be accessed by laptops, mobile phones or any mobile device. It is currently in use in South Pacific islands and East Africa delivering educational and health information to local populations. A team of students who have been active in deploying the units were at the event and presented the work to legislators who toured the displays. 

(Caption for photo: Emily Blau, a student in ASU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program, explains how SolarSPELL works to Rep. Ononiel "Tony" Navarrete, LD-30. Also pictured (center) is undergraduate Chloe Scott who participates on the SolarSPELL deployment team.)

Bringing information to challenged areas

Bringing information to challenged areas
Offline internet offers real value in helping people develop digital and information literacy skills in locations that do not have access to the World Wide Web says Laura Hosman, an assistant professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the Polytechnic School, within the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Hosman addressed questions about how we can introduce people to tools and technologies that are headed their way, namely new digital technologies and the Internet. SolarSPELL, a solar-powered portable hub she designed, allows people in remote areas to access an offline library full of teaching materials and educational content that can be customized to specific needs. Working with ASU students and staff, Hosman is currently leading efforts to deploy the units in islands in the South Pacific and in East Africa for use in education and healthcare delivery. Read more of her comments on bringing information to challenged areas and helping people living in them to develop skill sets essential to interacting in global networks.

Students work with City of Tempe on new climate action plan

Climate action plan
This spring students are engaged in a new opportunity to help grow sustainable practices in their community as they contribute to development of a climate action plan for the City of Tempe. Designed by Lauren Withycombe Keeler, an assistant research professor in SFIS, the plan includes activities such as sourcing more energy used in city operations from renewable sources, establishing a target for citywide carbon emissions, and developing strategies to make Tempe resilient to extreme heat. Three undergraduate students will work closely with Withycombe Keeler in research to assist the city in developing a strong plan that has community support. In addition, 30 students in SFIS’ Navigating Futures class will be working on applied projects related to the plan, which they will present to city staff at the end of the semester. The applied projects will focus on themes from the plan: Energy, Water, Transportation, Waste and Extreme Heat. More information on the project can be found on the City’s website, which will also publish updates on future related events and forums such as a recent public forum to receive feedback from stakeholders led by Tempe Sustainability Manager Dr. Braden Kay and Withycombe Keeler.

CSPO moves to new ASU facility in DC

CSPO DC Building
The Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes has moved! We look forward to welcoming visitors to our beautiful new space as we host events over the coming year. Upcoming events will feature our recent work on public deliberation about self-driving vehicles (in Maryland and, with our European partners, in France), our pioneering project on the governance of climate engineering research, and more! Our new offices are in the Ambassador Barbara Barrett and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Washington Center at Arizona State University, at 1800 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20006. Informally known as the Barrett & O’Connor Washington Center, we’re pleased to share a home with ASU’s other DC-based programs, including the McCain Institute, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Morrison Institute for Public Policy.

Future of X: Solar

Future of X: Solar
You can watch a video recap from SFIS’ Future of X event at January’s First Friday in Phoenix which asked participants: “When do you think Phoenix will be 100 percent solar?” SFIS hosts a Future of X booth each month through May at First Friday in Phoenix with activities that reflect active research happening at SFIS.


Miles Brundage (lead author)
The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation
Feb. 2018 

Thaddeus Miller
Infrastructure in the age of supercells
Finely Tuned (podcast) or read transcription
Feb 2, 2018 

Britt Crow-Miller
Our Kids Can Save The Planet — If We Teach Them How
Feb. 8, 2018

Andrew Maynard
Will gene editing in humans lead to super athletes?
Risk Bites
Feb. 8, 2018 

Jameson Wetmore
What Can We Learn About Vacuum Cleaners from Vampires?: Far More Than You May Think
IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine
Feb. 8, 2018 

Clark Miller, Carlo Altamirano, Saurabh Biswas (and Nigel Moore)
Poverty Eradication through Energy Innovation: A Multi-layer Design Framework for Social Value Creation
ASU-AE4H Joint Working Paper 

Michael Bennett
What Black Panther Could Mean for the Afrofuturism Movement
Future Tense
Feb. 20, 2018 

Andrew Maynard
Science Communication, Why Do It?
Risk Bites
Feb. 22, 2017


In the media

Clark Miller
on video at 4:34:00 in this livestream from the National Academies: https://livestream.com/NASEM/PGA-Sustainability/videos/169505397

Bob Beard
It's Aliiiiiive! Celebrating The 200th Anniversary Of 'Frankenstein'
Feb. 9, 2018 

Andrew Maynard
Work in the 4IR
Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution
World Economic Forum podcast
Feb. 13, 2018 

Ed Finn
It’s Alive! Frankenstein at 200
NPR (15:40 mark)
Feb. 13, 2018

Daniel Sarewitz
An Agitator for Science Reform Walks a Fine Line in the Era of Trump
Feb. 15, 2018 

Carlo Altamirano, PhD student
Activists In Arizona March For Clean DREAM Act, Support Local DREAMers
Feb. 19, 2018 

Laura Hosman
Connecting with an offline world
Feb. 19, 2018 

Bob Beard & Ed Finn, Center for Science and the Imagination
ASU-developed children's game brings Frankenstein back to life, again
Feb. 19, 2018 

Miles Brundage, PhD Student
Good News: A.I. Is Getting Cheaper. That’s Also Bad News.
The New York Times
Feb. 20, 2018 

Miles Brundage, PhD Student
AI ripe for exploitation, experts warn
Feb. 21, 2018