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Message from the Editor
Heather Love, Editor, IEEE SSIT Newsletter

This month we are delighted to announce the launch of the new SSIT/Technology and Society website! You can read details below, and then take some time to peruse the site for yourself. Many thanks to the members of the SSIT Website Committee who have been hard at work getting things running smoothly (and who will be continuing to do so in coming months). In addition, be sure to scan through this month's Conference and Publication opportunities.

As always, if you have a news item, SSIT-related update, volunteer opportunity, call for papers, award notice, or idea for a "Feature Article," please contact me at Heather.Love@usd.edu. Submissions for the November 2017 newsletter are due by 20 October 2017.

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New SSIT Website


Over the past two months, IEEE SSIT has been rolling out a revamped website at http://technologyandsociety.org. The original url (http://ieeessit.org) also redirects to the new site.

The new website provides resources and coverage of a wide variety of technology and society topics, concerns, and research, as well as detailed services and support to SSIT membership.

The main landing page of the site features access to publicly available content from IEEE Technology and Society Magazine (M-T&S), links to recent blog posts, and announcements of upcoming conferences and other events.

Drop down menus provide deeper access to an archive of M-T&S content, much of it directly available on the new site, with additional links to IEEE Xplore files of all past M-T&S articles. The publicly available "free" articles on the new site are generally the shorter, non-refereed "department" articles from M-T&S. Refereed articles from M-T&S remain behind the paywall, available only to IEEE SSIT member subscribers.

An archive of past SSIT Blog posts is also available, along with links to active SSIT social networking sites and discussions on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The site provides easy membership and subscription links, and complete services to SSIT members such as Chapter resources, Awards programs, and SSIT Newsletter posts.

A robust videos and podcasts section is already populated, and includes technology and society-related productions from IEEE.tv, as well as access to Future Out Loud podcasts from the Arizona State University (ASU) School for the Future of Innovation in Society, and the Risk Innovation Lab.

Volunteer members of the SSIT New Website Committee included Laura Edelson, Jim Isaak, Terri Bookman, Lew Terman, and Phil Hall. IEEE volunteer Mike Andrews spearheaded the effort for the IEEE, and consultant/contractors at Interface Guru provided visioning workshops and design for the the site.

The site continues to be under development, with additional features to be added in the coming months.

The SSIT website committee welcomes the comments and suggestions of SSIT members and other users of the new site. Please send any thoughts to Terri Bookman at t.bookman@ieee.org.



The following upcoming conferences should be of interest to many SSIT members:

IEEE Global Humanitarian Conference (GHTC)
19-22 October 2017, San Jose, CA, USA




GHTC focuses on innovation, deployment and adaptation of Technology for Humanitarian Goals and Sustainable Development. The conference invites presenters to showcase innovation and progress in technology and methodology addressing the socio-cultural and socio-economic needs of vulnerable and resource-constrained end-user communities in developing and developed countries, as well as confronting the challenges of both natural and man-made disasters.

Key focus areas that are particularly relevant include (but are not limited to):
  • Poverty alleviation
  • Healthcare
  • Agriculture and Food Security
  • Quality education
  • Affordable and clean energy
  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Connectivity and communication
  • Humanitarian challenges and opportunities
  • Disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery
  • Other United Nations sustainable development goals
For more information, visit the conference website.


5th IEEE Conference on Technologies for Sustainability-Engineering and the Environment (SusTech 2017)
12-14 November 2017, Phoenix, AZ, USA




SusTech 2017 is sponsored by the IEEE Oregon Section, IEEE Region 6, IEEE Phoenix Section and IEEE-USA. SSIT is a technical co-sponsor and long term supporter of the SusTech conference series and host of the Social Implications/Quality of Life Track.

For further details, please visit the conference website.



9th International Conference on Ethics in Biology, Engineering, and Medicine
14-15 April 2018, Miami, FL, USA


The 9th International Conference on Ethics in Biology, Engineering, and Medicine will be held at the Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, FL, USA, 14-15 April 2018. Abstracts should be submitted before 15 November 2017. This conference has been endorsed or technically co-sponsored by IEEE/SSIT and many other professional societies and institutions.

More information about the conference can be obtained from the website.



Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice (SPSP) Seventh Biennial Conference
29 June-2 July 2018, University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium

The Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice (SPSP) is an interdisciplinary community of scholars who approach the philosophy of science with a focus on scientific practice and the practical uses of scientific knowledge. For further details on our objectives, see our mission statement.

The SPSP conference provides a broad forum for scholars committed to making detailed and systematic studies of scientific practices - neither dismissing concerns about truth and rationality, nor ignoring contextual and pragmatic factors. The conference aims at cutting through traditional disciplinary barriers and developing novel approaches. We welcome contributions from not only philosophers of science, but also philosophers working in epistemology and ethics, as well as the philosophy of engineering, technology, medicine, agriculture, and other practical fields. Additionally, we welcome contributions from historians and sociologists of science, pure and applied scientists, and any others with an interest in philosophical questions regarding scientific practice.

Keynote speakers at the 2018 conference include:
  • William Bechtel, University of California at San Diego
  • Sabina Leonelli, University of Exeter
  • Maarten van Dyck, University of Ghent
  • Alison Wylie, University of British Columbia
For details regarding proposal guidelines please visit the event webpage.

Abstract submission deadline: 15 January 2018
Notification of acceptance: 7 March 2018
Main contact: Joe Rouse, jrouse@wesleyan.edu

An online submission site for paper or session proposals will be available later this fall. In addition, stay tuned for forthcoming details about a graduate student workshop, a smaller topical workshop before and after the conference, and a poster presentation session.

SPSP 2017-18 Organizing Committee:

Chiara Ambrosio, University College, London
Rachel Ankeny, University of Adelaide
Justin Biddle, Georgia Institute of Technology
Till GrĂ¼ne-Yanoff, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm
Sabina Leonelli, University of Exeter
Matthew Lund, Rowan University
Joseph Rouse, Wesleyan University



Call for Papers for Special Issue of Proceedings of the IEEE
Machine Ethics: the design and governance of ethical AI and autonomous systems


Guest Editors:
  • Alan Winfield, University of the West of England (UWE), United Kingdom
  • Katina Michael, University of Wollongong, Australia
  • Jeremy Pitt, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  • Vanessa Evers, University of Twente, Netherlands
Publication Date: 2018

The primary focus of this special issue will be on machine ethics, that is the question of how autonomous systems can be imbued with ethical values. Ethical autonomous systems are needed because, inevitably, near future systems are moral agents; consider driverless cars, or medical diagnosis AIs, both of which will need to make choices with ethical consequences. Using the terminology of James Moor (2006) [1] we seek papers that deal with both implicit ethical agents, that is machines designed to avoid unethical outcomes, and explicit ethical agents, that is machines which either explicitly encode or learn ethics and determine actions based on those ethics. Of course ethical machines are socio-technical systems thus, as a secondary focus, we invite papers that explore the educational, societal and regulatory implications of machine ethics, including the issue of ethical governance. Ethical governance is needed in order to develop standards and processes that allow us to transparently and robustly assure the safety of ethical autonomous systems and hence build public trust and confidence.
[1] James H. Moor: The Nature, Importance, and Difficulty of Machine Ethics, IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 18-21, July/August 2006.


Publish your Ethical Dilemma

The IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology has partnered with the IEEE Life Members Committee (LMC) on an initiative to publish accounts of Society members' experiences grappling with ethical dilemmas in professional contexts. If you have an experience that involved navigating an ethical dilemma, consider sharing it with your colleagues through the SSIT or LMC newsletters.

A joint SSIT/LMC committee will vet all initial submissions, and authors will work with the editors of the two publications to finalize their submissions. Accepted Ethical Dilemma articles will be published simultaneously in the June and December issues of both newsletters.

Article submissions must be between 300 and 500 words in Word format. The IEEE Legal Department requires that all articles be fully sanitized to protect the privacy of people and organizations.

Submit manuscripts to Stacey Waters, IEEE Project Manager, at s.waters@ieee.org.


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