SFIS Newsletter - Issue 8

ASU students, faculty gain insights, create impact in Nepal and Ecuador

Study Abroad group in Ecuador

SFIS Students and faculty travelled to Nepal and Ecuador to engage culturally with host communities, broaden their worldviews, and roll up their sleeves to make a lasting impact. Each program had specific learning goals and a final project tailored to the experiences of each student. In Nepal the focus was on best practices in sustainable development and the activities brought participants face to face with new ways of thinking, feeling and living. In Ecuador the group looked at multiple economic empowerment strategies in an environment where local traditions and culture compete with the challenges brought on by globalization. Read more.

Research in ‘Food-Energy-Water Nexus’ earns SSRC fellowship

Britt Crow-Miller

Assistant Professor Britt Crow-Miller of SFIS was recently selected as a Social Science Research Council Transregional Research Junior Scholar fellow for the 2017-2018 year. Her SSRC proposal, "The Emerging Geography of Chinese Water Infrastructure: InterAsian and Transregional Connections in the Food-Energy-Water Nexus," sits at the intersection of politics, environment, development and technology — with a focus on China’s water infrastructure. “By taking a critical inventory of the InterAsian and transregional nexus interconnections of Chinese water infrastructure, I expect a complex web of connections to begin to emerge,” she noted in her project proposal. Read more.

State of the School

Dave Guston presenting State of the School 2017

A review of the achievements of SFIS and its students, faculty and staff was presented by Director David Guston during the annual State of the School address on August 23. View the video.


Pre-eclipse party

pre-eclipse party 2017

Almost 900 people joined in a pre-eclipse party hosted by SFIS at the Arizona Museum of Natural History two days before the August 21 solar eclipse that swept across the continental US. With the help of staff, faculty, and students from SFIS and the School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE), as well as local astronomy organizations, the museum offered over a dozen Earth and space activities, lectures, and story times, and sent families home with safe solar viewing glasses. The museum program was part of the national Space and Earth Informal STEM Education (SEISE) project, led by the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Net) in collaboration with NASA. NISE Net director Rae Ostman and SEISE principal investigator Paul Martin are co-directors of the new Center for Innovation in Informal STEM Learning at ASU. In 2017, the SEISE project awarded 250 hands-on activity toolkits to museums and universities in the United States. These organizations are utilizing the toolkit resources to engage diverse public audiences in learning about Earth and space science. The project is also developing three additional sets of toolkits and a small footprint museum exhibition over the next several years.


Partnering with public libraries to advance citizen science

Darlene Cavalier with group at Citizen Science Maker Summit

With a new grant of nearly $250,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, SFIS professor Darlene Cavalier is leading an interdisciplinary team in partnership with six Arizona public libraries and NISE Net, to develop a field-tested, replicable, low-cost toolkit of citizen science resources for public libraries. The project will leverage SciStarter, an online community launched by Cavalier that brings together science researchers and citizen scientists, with a database of over 1,600 citizen science projects. Read more.



Brochure from Martin Perez Comisso presentation

Brochure outlining the presentation by Martín Pérez Comisso


SFIS was well-represented in the list of awardees at the annual conference of The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S):

Video Contest

Andrew Maynard in studio

Andrew Maynard, SFIS professor realizes the importance of sharing what he learns so people can make better informed decisions about how and what they use, in order to avoid any negative consequences. That’s the idea behind Science Showcase, a YouTube channel dedicated to making the science behind topics like water filtration, disease immunity and earthquakes accessible and interesting to the general public. This summer, Maynard announced the first-ever Science Showcase Video Contest. Read more.


Out and About

Lauren Keeler showing AudaCITY game 

Lauren Withycombe Keeler led a sustainability and resilience capacity building workshop with Navajo Chapter leaders at the Navajo Sustainability Summit in Flagstaff, Arizona on August 29.

Manufacturing biochar in Nepal
Megan Dieu, an undergraduate student in chemical engineering, participated in the Grassroots Innovation Study Abroad program in Nepal led by Netra Chhetri. She produced this video of her impressions of the experience, which involved two projects focused on sustainable development with the production of biochar and solar powered lift irrigation.


Including articles, books, blogs, podcasts or other published media authored or co-authored by SFIS faculty, students or staff.


Jennifer Richter 
Energopolitics and nuclear waste: Containing the threat of radioactivity 
Energy Research & Social Science 
Volume 30, August 2017


Emma K. Frow (co-author) 
Governing citizen use of brain stimulation technologies: what role for scientists? 
Journal of Responsible Innovation 
August 10, 2017


Gregg Zachary 
Commentary: Trump, Engineering Advisers, and the North Korea Crisis 
IEEE Spectrum 
August 10, 2017


Robert Cook-Deegan and Jane Maienschein 
Listening for the Public Voice 
August 16, 2017


Dan Sarewitz 
Stop treating science denial like a disease 
The Guardian 
August 21, 2017


Heather Ross and Andrew Maynard 
Wes Herche on Photovoltaics and Solar Energy 
Future Out Loud Podcast 
August 21, 2017


Andrew Maynard 
Elon Musk’s Sexy Spacesuit Is One Giant Leap for Space Tourism 
August 24, 2017

In the Media


Andrew Maynard was quoted in the article “First Human Embryos Edited In U.S. By Scientists,” August 2, 2017 and featured in “The Impossible Burger wouldn’t be possible without genetic engineering,” August 10, 2017.


Ed Finn was featured in “Author Interview: Ed Finn” in Bound, August 23, 2017.


Dan Sarewitz was featured in “Science Denial: Is it a psychological-social disease?” in BlastingNews, August 22,2017.


Robert Cook-Deegan was mentioned as author of “The Gene Wars” in “CRISPR, Patents, and Nobel Prizes,” Los Angeles Review of Books, August 23, 2017.


Brian David Johnson was featured in the opinion piece “Connected IoT is about to become cognitive IoT” Network World from IDG, August 30, 2017.