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May 2018

Message from the Editor
Heather Love, Editor, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) Newsletter
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This issue of the SSIT newsletter includes important reminders about submission deadlines for the November 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS) conference, updates on recent talks by SSIT Distinguished Lecturer Dr. Luis Kun, and information about a host of conference, publication, and postdoctoral opportunities.

I invite submissions for future newsletters. To announce an event, news item, volunteer opportunity, calls for papers, and award notice, or other article, please contact me at

Submissions for the June 2018 newsletter are due by 20 May 2018. Note that regular newsletter publication will pause during the months of July and August, so please aim to submit announcements that pertain to those months in time for the June issue.

ISTAS Submission Deadline Reminder: 15 June 2018

15 June is the deadline for submitting panel, tutorial, and workshop proposals as well as papers for consideration as part of the conference program at SSIT's flagship conference!

This year's conference theme is "Technology, Ethics, and Policy," and more information is available in the complete conference announcement below or on the ISTAS website.

Dr. Luis Kun Delivers Distinguished Lectures

photo of Dr. KunOn 23 and 24 April 2018, Dr. Luis Kun delivered the following series of lectures as part of the SSIT Distinguished Lecturer Series:
  • "Social Implications of Technology: Repercussions from Science Technology and the Climate Changes in the Global Village" on 23 April at the Westinghouse Energy Center
  • "A Wellness-Centric Healthcare System with Interoperable Public Health: The Multidimensional Global Threats, Interdependences of the Critical Infrastructures, and Geomedicine" on 23 April at University of West Virginia; on 24 April at the Westinghouse "Lunch and Learn" employee presentation
  • "Transforming Healthcare through Interoperability" on 24 April at Westinghouse Headquarters
Dr. Kun graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy in Uruguay and holds a BSEE, MSEE, and Ph.D. in BME all from UCLA. A Life Fellow of IEEE, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, he is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of National Security Affairs (CHDS) and was Professor of Homeland Security at the National Defense University (2003-2015). He is also Editor in Chief of Springer's Journal of Health and Technology. His career has encompassed many high-ranking positions in industry, government offices, and academic institutions, and he has received numerous national and international awards.

Many thanks to the IEEE Pittsburgh Section for organizing the lectures, and to the SSIT, Women in Engineering, the IEEE Power and Energy, IEEE Industry Applications, and IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Societies for their support of these events.

SSIT Distinguished Lecturers are invited to submit updates regarding their activities to for announcement in future newsletters.

Call for Applications: Postdoctoral Fellow at Arizona State University (ASU) Center for Smart Cities and Regions

Arizona State University's (ASU) new Center for Smart Cities and Regions (CSCR) is looking for a postdoctoral fellow to join us in the fall to work on autonomous vehicles, smart living labs, and a variety of other projects.

Questions can be directed to Thad Miller at, and you can find out more about the CSCR initiative on their website.

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

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

Forum on Philosophy, Engineering and Technology
30 May-1 June 2018, College Park, MD, USA

The 2018 Forum on Philosophy, Engineering and Technology (fPET) will have research presentations at the intersection of philosophy and engineering. The mission of fPET is to encourage reflection on engineering, engineers, and technology; and to build bridges between existing organizations of philosophers, engineers and scholars in related fields.

Keynote Speakers:
  • William Wimsatt (University of Minnesota, author of Re-Engineering Philosophy)
  • Robyn Gatens (NASA Headquarters, Deputy Director of International Space Station Division)
  • Daniel Sarewitz (Arizona State University, coauthor: The Techno-Human Condition)
  • Malka Older ('Engineering fiction' guest of honor, author of the novel Infomocracy)

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, read 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

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

SSIT invites you to attend and participate in ISTAS 2018, a multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary forum for engineers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, philosophers, researchers, social scientists, technologists, and polymaths to collaborate, exchange experiences, and discuss the social implications of technology. The 2018 conference theme is "Technology, Ethics, and Policy." For the latest updates, visit the ISTAS website.

We welcome proposals for papers, panel and workshop sessions focused on the relationship between technology and social issues ranging from the economic and ethical to the cultural, and environmental; in particular, we invite submissions that engage with the following topics:
  • The Social Implications of Technology as they relate to SSIT's Five Pillars:
    • Sustainable Development
    • Ethics/Human Values
    • Universal Access
    • Societal Impacts
    • Protecting the Planet
  • Intersections between the social implications of technology and:
    • Privacy and security of information (vs. national and homeland security)
    • Net neutrality (fast-access internet legislation)
    • Big data, e-Government
    • Impact of technology and information on decision making
    • Human genome editing (e.g., Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)) ethics, neurotechnology/big brain
    • Internet of Things (IoT)
    • Blockchain everything - what does it mean?
    • Open data, open government - social implications of open data
Papers accepted for the Conference Proceedings will be submitted for publication in IEEE Xplore, with some papers shortlisted for publication in a special issue of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine. These articles must be revised to be substantially different to the original paper appearing in IEEE Xplore.

Important Dates:
Panel, Tutorial and Workshop proposal deadline: 15 June 2018
Paper submission deadline (max 5000 Words): 15 June 2018
Accept/Reject notification date for proposed papers: 25 June 2018

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 Microsoft 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 Rosann Marosy at

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