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feb 2018

Message from the Editor
Heather Love, Editor, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) Newsletter
photo of Heather Love
Greetings, and happy nearly-spring or nearly-fall, depending on your hemisphere!

As Paul Cunningham explains below, plans are coming together for SSIT's flagship conference, 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS), which will take place 13-14 November in Washington, DC, USA. I hope that many of you will be able to attend and contribute to the important dialogue we will be having on this year’s theme, "Technology, Ethics, and Policy."

Paul's message also includes several opportunities for you to get involved with SSIT initiatives. I encourage you to find ways you can engage with our organization’s goals, activities, and projects.

Please submit news items, SSIT-related updates, volunteer opportunities, Calls for Papers, award notices, or ideas for "Feature Articles" in future newsletters to me at

Submissions for the April 2018 newsletter are due by 20 March 2018.

photo of Paul Cunningham
Paul Cunningham, IEEE SSIT President

Dear Colleagues,

2018 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS) in Washington, DC, USA 13-14 November 2018

I am delighted to announce that this year, our flagship conference, the 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS) will be hosted by the School of Engineering and Applied Science, George Washington University (GWU), Washington DC, USA from 13-14 November, with pre-conference events taking place on 12 November.

IEEE ISTAS 2018 will take place at George Washington Science and Engineering building, Washington DC, USA. For more information, please visit their website.

I would like to thank Murty Polavarapu (SSIT) and Prof. Can Korman (GWU) for their active collaboration, which made it possible to bring ISTAS 2018 to Washington DC, USA.

Contributions by SSIT at the 2018 World Summit on the Information Society Forum (WSIS 2018) in Geneva, Switzerland 19-23 March 2018

I have the pleasure of representing SSIT at the WSIS, which is the world’s largest annual gathering of the ICT for Development Community. This event brings together the public, private, education and research, societal, funding and international donor sectors, and focuses on leveraging technology to build Information and Knowledge Societies for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The work of SSIT will be showcased on the IEEE Exhibition Stand and the activities of the IEEE SSIT IST-Africa SIGHT (supporting digital literacy at twelve resource constrained clinics in Northern Ethiopia, Western Kenya, Southern Malawi and Eastern Cape, South Africa to strengthen primary health care delivery capacity) will be showcased on the IST-Africa/mHealth4Afrika exhibition stand as well as during a mHealth4Africa-IST-Africa Workshop on Monday, 19 March.

Finally, I will be representing SSIT during an IEEE thematic workshop "Achieving the SDGs through Ethically Aligned Design" on 22 March.

If you are participating at WSIS 2018, please reach out to me so we can arrange to meet face-to-face to discuss how you can contribute to SSIT and how SSIT can meet your expectations.

Support for IEEE Volunteer Led Sustainable Development Projects and Events

IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC) supports IEEE volunteers involved in sustainable development and humanitarian technology related activities around the world, through funding for projects and events, supporting SIGHT activities, building strategic partnerships and facilitating necessary education and training.

Funding is now available for activities aligned with these objectives, with a first call for HAC and SIGHT Projects closing on 31 March, and a first call for HAC Events closing 15 March.

For more information, please visit their website and

Call for Enthusiastic SSIT Volunteers

We continue to actively recruit enthusiastic SSIT volunteers. If you would like to contribute to the organization of ISTAS 2018 or are interested in getting involved in SSIT sustainable development oriented volunteer activities, please contact me.

Paul M Cunningham
President, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology
Chair, IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee

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

Global Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Leadership Summit: Call for Participants
19-20 March 2018, Atlanta, GA, USA

This two-day summit is dedicated to giving women in STEM access to powerful tools, strategies, and connections to advance their careers and their lives. Partnering with the University of Georgia, AT&T, ASEA Brown Boveri (ABB) and Northrup Grumman, as well as a number of corporations, women and professional organizations, and higher education institutions, this Summit convenes over 300 entrepreneur, academic, and business women in technological and scientific fields from around the globe.

Additional information is available online, questions can be directed to Summit Founder and Chair, Takoi K. Hamrita, at or +1 706 542-1973.

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 Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, FL, USA, 14-15 April 2018. This conference has been endorsed and technically co-sponsored by IEEE/SSIT and many other professional societies and institutions.

More information is available at the conference website.

13th Annual IST-Africa Week 2018
8-11 May 2018, Southern Africa

Supported by the European Commission and African Union Commission, IST-Africa 2018 is the thirteenth in an annual series of Ministerial level Technology Research, Innovation and Sustainable Development Conferences.

IST-Africa provides a platform in Africa to strengthen ICT-enabled Innovation, Science and Technology related policy dialogues within Africa and between Africa, Europe and the rest of the world, as well as Sustainable Development, Research and Innovation Cooperation and Community Building. It also provides an opportunity to identify potential partners for future research and innovation cooperation under Horizon 2020. IST-Africa is a unique community that brings together cross-disciplinary stakeholders from public, private, education and research, and societal sectors with end user communities focused on ICT and STI Research and Innovation.

Thematic areas include: eHealth/mHealth; Technology-enhanced Learning; eAgriculture/mAgriculture; eInfrastructures and NRENs; Energy; Next Generation Computing (Big Data, Cloud Computing, Future Internet, Internet of Things); eGovernment; Content Technologies (Languages, Digital Preservation); Cyber Security; Collaborative Open Innovation and ICT-enabled Entrepreneurship; Sustainable Development including ICT4D and Societal Implications of Technology.

For more information, please contact

Sixth Annual Governance of Emerging Technologies and Science (GETS) Conference
16-18 May, 2018, Tempe, AZ, USA

The Sixth Annual Conference on Governance of Emerging Technologies and Science (GETS): Law, Policy and Ethics is premised on the belief that there is much to be learned and shared from and across the governance experience for various emerging technologies.

The conference will consist of plenary and session presentations and discussions on regulatory, governance, legal, policy, social and ethical aspects of emerging technologies, including (but not limited to): nanotechnology, synthetic biology, gene editing, biotechnology, genomics, personalized medicine, digital health, human enhancement technologies, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, data analytics, telecommunications, information technologies, surveillance technologies, technology and privacy, cybersecurity, geoengineering, neuroscience, military technologies, artificial intelligence, algorithms, autonomous cars, and robotics.

Keynote speakers include:
  • Larry Downes, co-author of Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation
  • Danielle Keats Citron, Morton and Sophia Macht Professor of Law, University of Maryland Carey School of Law
  • Eric Kochi, Co-Founder, UNICEF Innovation

Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice (SPSP) Seventh Biennial Conference
29 June-2 July 2018, 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 will be held at the University of Ghent and 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

SPSP 2017-18 Organizing Committee:
  • Chiara Ambrosio, University College, London
  • Rachel Ankeny, University of Adelaide
  • Justin Biddle, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Till Grüne-Yanoff, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm
  • Sabina Leonelli, University of Exeter
  • Matthew Lund, Rowan University
  • Joseph Rouse, Wesleyan University

Publish your Ethical Dilemma

The IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology has partnered with the IEEE Life Members Committee (LMC) 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.

Read an example of a previously published ethical dilemma, John Impagliazzo's story, from our June 2017 newsletter.

Submit manuscripts to Stacey Waters, IEEE Project Manager, at

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