February 2020
 
 
Message from the Editor
 
 
Heather Love, Editor, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) Newsletter
 
 

Dear SSIT Members,

This month’s newsletter features an exciting announcement about SSIT’s flagship conference: ISTAS 2020 will take place at Arizona State University in November. We will feature regular updates about the conference in upcoming newsletters, and you can visit the ISTAS 2020 website to read about the event’s impressive lineup of confirmed speakers, its thematic focus on “Public Interest Technology,” its stellar organizing committee, and more.

 
 
In addition, remember that we are one month away from the launch date for SSIT’s new publication, the IEEE Transactions in Technology and Society. Be sure to take advantage of SSIT member-pricing and subscribe at the link below.
 
 
As always, I invite submissions from all SSIT members for inclusion in future newsletters. In particular, I’d love to hear about your local Chapter meetings, events, or outreach activities. To announce an event, news item, volunteer opportunity, CFP, award notice, or other item, please contact me at Heather.Love@uwaterloo.ca. Submissions for each newsletter are due on the 1st of the month.
 
 
SSIT Announcements
 
 
Announcing ISTAS 2020: Public Interest Technology
 
 
Arizona State University, 12-14 November
We are delighted to announce that SSIT’s flagship conference, the International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS) will take place this year at Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ) from 12-14 November. This year’s conference theme is Public Interest Technology.

Find out more about the ISTAS theme, venue, confirmed speakers, and submission process here, and stay tuned for more information about the event in future newsletters!
 
 
 
 
IEEE Transactions in Technology & Society: Subscribe Today!
 
 

All SSIT members should have received an email earlier this month inviting you to subscribe to the new IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society. Under a special arrangement with the IEEE, the SSIT-member subscription rate is only US$10 (US$5 for SSIT student members) per year.

To take advantage of this excellent deal, and to show your support for this new SSIT initiative, visit the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society page and click "Add item(s)."

 
 
 
 
Call for Nominations to SSIT Leadership Roles for 2021 Positions
 
 
The IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) is an active IEEE Society focused on the challenges, results, and implications of the continuing advances and interactions of technology and society. SSIT provides both digital and face-to-face opportunities for IEEE and technical communities and societies to interact, to understand and address the Sustainable Development and ethics related challenges and opportunities that result from the progress of technology adoption in the contemporary world. Through our website ( www.TechnologyandSociety.org), all members have access to publications, conferences, social media groups, blogs, and local events.

We seek nominations for active SSIT volunteers to take up the following positions, which are directly involved in consulting, planning and carrying out the Society’s goals, directions, and activities:

SSIT Board of Governors (BoG) Member-at-Large (2021-2023)
A three-year term as a voting member of the BoG. Meetings via telecon are held monthly. Impactful BoG members are actively involved in SSIT activities (e.g., committees, conferences, publications, Chapters, website, etc.) and take an active role in influencing the future direction and priorities of SSIT. BoG members may be re-elected for no more than two consecutive terms. Three positions (3) become open each year.

The Society would benefit from volunteers with a previous volunteer track record (including but not limited to SSIT or IEEE), and/or experience in Chapter development, membership development, conference planning, fund raising, economics/finance, marketing, content creation, social media and website management.

Self-nominations are welcome, and we invite all SSIT members willing to serve the Society in a leadership position to put their names forward.

If you are interested in nominating yourself or another SSIT member, please submit a one-page synopsis of the nominee’s experience with emphasis on their proposed contribution, strengths and relevant track record to the SSIT Nominations Chair, Prof. Paul M Cunningham, at pcunningham@ieee.org. Please include your IEEE Membership Number and contact information. Nominations are due by 30 April 2020.

If you are nominated another SSIT member, it is necessary to receive their written approval for this nomination in advance of submitting the one-page synopsis showcasing the relevant experience of the nominee. As above the synopsis should include the nominees IEEE Membership Number and a clear articulation of their SSIT track record, specific skills and contribution they can make.
 
 
 
 
Call for Expressions of Interest to Host SSIT Conferences
 
 
IEEE SSIT organizes, co-organizes, and sponsors conferences focused on technology, society and ethics. IEEE SSIT is seeking expressions of interest from SSIT members interested in hosting the following conferences around the world.

IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS)
ISTAS is the flagship conference of IEEE SSIT, addressing issues across the SSIT 5 Pillars (Sustainable Development; Ethics/Human Values; Universal Access; Societal Impacts and Protecting the Planet). Information about IEEE ISTAS 2019 is available here. Preparations for IEEE ISTAS 2020 are ongoing and the Call for Papers will be published during Q1 2020.

Expressions of interest are welcome for 2021 and 2022.

IEEE Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century (21CW)
The 21CW conference series addresses the technical, social and personal legacy of the founder of cybernetics, control theory, and information ethics, Norbert Wiener. It has been held in Boston (2014), Melbourne (2016), with satellite activities 2014, 2016, 2018 in India . The 2020 21CW conference will take place from 23-26 July in Chennai, India.

Expressions of interest are welcome for 2022 and 2024.

If you are interested in hosting one of these events, or if you would like further information, please contact SSIT Conferences Chair, Jay Pearlman at jay.pearlman@fourbridges.org.
 
 
 
 
Call for Nominations: IEEE SSIT Awards
 
 
IEEE SSIT has three major awards, all of which are open for nominations at this time.

The Carl Barus Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest is open to anyone, or group, who performs an important public service, possibly at the risk of career or reputation. This includes anyone, whether or not in the engineering profession, or a member of IEEE. Further information on recipients can be found here.

The Brian M. O’Connell SSIT Distinguished Service Award is for SSIT volunteers who have demonstrated outstanding service for the benefit of SSIT. More information on this award can be found here.

The SSIT Norbert Wiener Award for Social and Professional Responsibility is given to an individual or team for exceptional contribution, or outstanding career contribution in the field of the social implications of technology. Further information can be found here.

To nominate an individual, submit information to Michael Cardinale (cardinal@ieee.org). Include the individual’s contact information – name, address, phone, email, professional history (year, organization and position), and the proposed citation in 25 words or less. The nominator must also submit their own contact information.
 
 
Publications
 
 
Update: IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society
 
 
 
 
The March 2020 launch of SSIT’s new journal, the I EEE Transactions on Technology and Society is quickly approaching. The journal will publish four issues each year (March, June, September, and December), and submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

The editorial team seeks research papers on the interactions among technology, science, and society; on the impact of such interactions on individuals and society; and on the ethical, professional and social responsibility in the practice of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Find out more about the publication’s scope, topics, and article submission guidelines here.

For expressions of interest to serve on the editorial board as an ongoing reviewer or associate editor, or for other enquiries please email founding editor-in-chief katina.michael@asu.edu.
 
 
Publish your Ethical Dilemma
 
 
If you have an experience that involved navigating an ethical dilemma as part of your professional life, we invite you to consider sharing it with your colleagues through the SSIT or Life Member Committee (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. 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, which is the "Featured Article" at the end of our June 2017 newsletter.

Submit manuscripts to Rosann Marosy at r.marosy@ieee.org.
 
 
Conferences
 
 
Workshop on Affect & Embodiment in Human Robot Interaction (HRI) at HRI2020 Cambridge, UK
Cambridge, UK | 23 March 2020  
 
 
A half-day interdisciplinary workshop on “Affect & Embodiment in HRI” will take place as part of the 15th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction (HRI2020), which runs from 23-26 March. The workshop seeks:
  1. to identify relevant questions for the design of robotic bodies with high affective qualities;
  2. to consider cross-currents in ethical, philosophical, and methodological questions in studying emotional relations between humans and robots; and
  3. to foster synergies among designers, engineers, and social scientists in affective robotics.
More information about the workshop is available here.

Details about HRI2020 are available on the conference website.
 
 
 
 
 
 
IST-Africa 2020
Kampala, Uganda  | 6-8 May 2020  
 
 
Hosted by the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Supported by the European Commission and African Union Commission, IEEE Africa Council, IEEE Uganda Section and IEEE UK and Ireland SSIT Chapter, IST-Africa 2020 (Kampala, Uganda, 6-8 May) is the fifteenth in an annual series of Ministerial Level Technology Research and Innovation Conferences addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Organised by the  IST-Africa Institute and IIMC International Information Management Corporation, the IST-Africa Conference Series provides an international platform rotating around Africa to strengthen ICT-enabled Innovation, Science and Technology related policy dialogues within Africa and between Africa and Europe, as well as Global Development, Research and Innovation Cooperation and Community Building. It also provides an opportunity to showcase innovation and implementation capacity and pressing societal challenges, as well as identify potential partners for future research cooperation under Horizon 2020.

IST-Africa is a unique community that brings together key stakeholder groups from the public, private, education and research, societal sectors with end-user communities around the world, focused on cross-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary ICT and STI Research and Innovation addressing societal challenges. Each year, there is a particular focus on policy, research and implementation challenges and success stories from the host country perspective, as well as areas requiring coordinated interventions and priorities for the future.

Thematic areas addressed 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; Global Development including ICT4D and Societal Implications of Technology.

IST-Africa 2020 Call for Papers closed in December 2019 and was very heavy oversubscribed. Papers submitted are currently under review. The Advance Program will be published in late January 2020.
 
 
 
 
 
 
True North Festival
Waterloo, Canada
   | 1-7 June 2020 

Join us at the third annual True North Festival (1-7 June 2020) to examine what it means to be human—and humane—in our tech-driven world! The conference/festival includes inspiring speakers, brain-busting summits, and the best of Waterloo Region eats and entertainment!

SSIT members are collaborating with Communitech organizers to lead the center-stage “Tech for Good” summit, and we encourage you to consider attending and participating.

Visit the True North website for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
IEEE 3rd Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century (21CW2020): Being Human in a Global Village
Chennai, India
   | 23-26 July 2020 

21CW2020: “ Being Human in a Global Village” is the third in a series of conferences initiated by the IEEE SSIT, and follows successful events in Boston (2014) and Melbourne (2016). This series focuses on the 21st century legacy of mathematician, technologist, and philosopher Norbert Wiener, whose work in cybernetics brought ideas like complexity, computing, communications, and control to the quest for a general systems theory.

The 2020 event invites participants to consider how we – as policy makers, parents, citizens, business owners, researchers, humans – need to be proactively preparing for a new world in light of the challenges coming our way in the form of artificial intelligence, or machine learning.

The conference will have three general themes:
  • The state of technologies initiated by Wiener.
  • The social impact of those technologies.
  • Wiener’s 1950s engagement and travels in India.
More specifically, participants are invited to consider how Wiener’s work resonates with various contemporary interpretations of the “global village”concept. For example, literary scholar Sue-Im claims that it has come to designate “the dominant term for expressing a global coexistence altered by transnational commerce, migration, and culture,” while Thomas Friedman sees our world “tied together into a single globalized marketplace and village.”

In keeping with the interdisciplinary ethos of Wiener’s work, the conference invites participants from all disciplines that engage with the social implications of technology, and organizers welcome proposals for presentations or posters in a variety of formats.

Important Dates:
  • 28 February 2020: Regular call for peer-reviewed papers and abstract-only submissions (decision by 15 April 2020)
  • 31 May 2020: Final submission of accepted papers due, and last call for abstract-only submissions (decision by 15 June 2020)
If you have questions about a potential proposal, please contact 21CW2020 Conference Chair, Prof. T. V. Gopal, Anna University, India ( gopal@annauniv.edu).
 
 
 
 
 
 
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