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

Dear SSIT Members,

I hope that August finds you well, and that you are developing means to cope with, or perhaps even thrive amidst, the ongoing adjustments to life and work that the COVID-19 pandemic sends your way. In part due to the way those challenges have affected my own schedule these past few months, this installment of the SSIT Newsletter has become a “double-issue” covering both July and August.

 
 
This newsletter features:
  • ISTAS 2020 (upcoming submission deadlines, virtual event details, additions to the program)
  • SSIT Publications (the recent Technology & Society special issue on AI and Climate Change; updates about access to Transactions content)
  • Engagement Opportunities (with a Standards Association Working Group and for an IEEE Use Case on Pandemics, Ethics, and Contact Tracing)
  • Chapter Activity (events in Bangladesh and Bahrain)
  • Several publication and conference calls of potential interest to SSIT members
 
 
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
 
 
Upcoming Webinar
 
 
IEEE SSIT Chapters Committee, IEEE Madras SSIT Chapter and IEEE Kerala SSIT Chapter are pleased to announce a Webinar on INDIA in the age of COVID-19, Aadhaar, Population Explosion, Urbanization and Climate Change: Challenges, Opportunities and the Social Implications of Science and Technology by Dr. Luis Kun, IEEE Life Fellow, Fellow IAMBE, Fellow AIMBE, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of National Security Affairs, as part of the SSIT Chapters Webinar Series as per following:

Date: 17 August 2020
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 PM, IST (8:30 - 10:00 AM, EST)
Title: INDIA in the age of COVID-19, Aadhaar, Population Explosion, Urbanization and Climate Change: Challenges, Opportunities and the Social Implications of Science and Technology

Distinguished Speaker: Luis Kun, Ph.D., Fellow AIMBE, Life Fellow IEEE, Fellow IAMBE, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of National Security Affairs

It is a free webinar, however prior registration is mandatory.
 
 
 
 
 
 
SSIT Distinguished Lecturer to Present Keynote at “10 Years Beyond EMBC ‘10”
 
 
SSIT Distinguished Lecturer, Prof. Luis Kun, will deliver a keynote as part of an event celebrating the Engineering in Medicine and Biology System (EMBS)’s annual conference that was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2010. This (virtual) event will focus on the “Past, Present, and Future of Biomedical Engineering,” and it takes place from 26-28 August 2020. Registration information will soon be available.
 
 
 
 
 
 
ISTAS 2020 Submission Deadline Approaching
 
 
SSIT’s flagship conference, the International Symposium on Technology and Society, will take place this coming 12-15 November 2020 as a virtual event hosted by Arizona State University. See "Conferences" section below for more information, and remember that 14 September 2020 is the deadline to submit your abstract, short paper, or full paper for consideration. Detailed instructions and the conference CFP are available here.
 
 
 
 
Upcoming IEEE SSIT Election: 14 August - 28 September
 
 
The IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) published the Call for Nominations for Board of Governors (BoG) Member-at-Large (2021-2023 Term) Election on 06 January 2020, with a closing date for nominations and self-nominations of 30 April. This Call was widely circulated to SSIT Members via the Technology and Society website, direct mailing and publication in the SSIT Newsletter in January, February, March and April.

There was a good response to the Call with nine (9) self-nominations received by the SSIT Nominations Chair, Prof. Paul M Cunningham by the deadline of 30 April.

Following review by the SSIT Nominations and Appointments Committee and SSIT voting BoG, a slate of six (6) candidates was approved by the SSIT BoG based on the IEEE and IEEE SSIT volunteer track record of candidates and the perceived contribution they could make to the Board of Governors.

IEEE SSIT also allows for Nominations by Petition. This was widely circulated to SSIT Members via the Technology and Society website and publication in the SSIT Newsletter. No petition nominations were received.

The SSIT BoG Member-at-Large (2021 - 2023 Term) Election Slate includes:
Prof. Shaikh Fattah
Dr. Heather A. Love
David Mindham
Dr. Jay S Pearlman
Dr. Beth-Anne Schuelke-Leech
Prof. Celia Shahnaz

The slate will be made available to IEEE SSIT Members for voting purposes from 14 August - 28 September 2020.

Three (3) candidates will be elected for open positions based on the number of votes received.
 
 
 
 
IEEE Technology & Society Magazine: AI and Climate Change Special Issue
 
 
Submitted by Terri Bookman
 
 
As a reminder to all SSIT members, the June issue of the IEEE Technology & Society Magazine is a remarkable Special Issue on AI and Climate Change.

Guest Edited by Amy Luers, Lyse Langlois, Mathilde Mougeot, Sana Kharaghani, and Alexandra Luccioni, the issue contains a range of commentaries, opinion pieces and refereed articles that make a hard-hitting contribution to how intelligent technologies, instead of posing an existential threat, can be repurposed to deal with an(other) existential threat. Standout articles include:
  • “Leveraging Digital Disruptions for a Climate-Safe and Equitable World: The D^2S Agenda,” and
  • “Artificial Intelligence for Sustainability: Should AI be Designed to Save Us from Ourselves?”
The issue has been sent to SSIT members in digital format and is fully available to subscribers on IEEE Xplore. Selections from the issue also will also appear over the next few weeks on SSIT's public website.
 
 
 
 
IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society: Access Issues Resolved
 
 
 
 
We are pleased to inform SSIT members that issues preventing widespread access to the June 2020 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society have been resolved, and that all content from the journal (including the March 2020 issue) is currently accessible for free to all readers.

We invite you to peruse the articles from the first two issues of the Transactions, and we hope that you will promote this new publication among your networks. For easy access, here are links to the main content of the June issue:

Subscription rates for SSIT members are only US$10 (US$5 for SSIT student members) for the first year. Please show your support for this new SSIT initiative by subscribing today!

For more information about submitting your work to the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society, see the “Publications” section below.
 
 
 
 
Call for Participation: Standards Association Working Group
 
 
Submitted by Erika M. Gomez
 
 
The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) invites your participation in the working group for IEEE P1912™ - Standard for Privacy and Security Framework for Consumer Wireless Devices. A virtual kick-off meeting is taking place Wednesday, 12 August 2020.

For additional information and access to the meeting, contact the IEEE P1912™ Working Group Chair, Lillie Coney.
 
 
 
 
Call for Comments: Pandemics, Ethics, and Contact Tracing
 
 
Submitted by Linda Rutledge
 
 
Can Contact Tracing Applications and Contact Tracing Technologies (CTA/CTT) effectively address both pandemics and ethics? The IEEE Use Case (Criteria for Addressing Ethical Challenges in Transparency, Accountability, and Privacy of CTA/CTT) seeks to offer insights into how CTA/CTT may demonstrate greater ethical transparency, accountability, and privacy. Employing a generic suite of ethical verification criteria to industry, regulators, and innovators around the world, this use case exhibits an initial set of the ECPAIS criteria applied to CTA/CTT.
 
 
We recognize that input from a larger set of experts spanning wide and relevant domains stands to improve both the use case and the criteria that emerge. We are therefore asking for your views and input. Download the paper today, and submit your feedback by 1 September 2020.
 
 
 
 
Chapter Activity Report: Bangladesh Chapter
 
 
Summary of material submitted by Shaikh Fattah
 
 
 
 
On 26 June 2020, the IEEE SSIT Bangladesh Chapter in association with IEEE Bangladesh Section, held a webinar titled " COVID-19 Pandemic: Technology for Health." 160 participants, including 23 international attendees, attended the live Zoom session, and the event recording has been viewed over a thousand times.
 
 
 
 
The webinar featured two keynote speakers, Professor Luis Kun, (Life Fellow of IEEE, SSIT Distinguished Lecturer, and Distinguished Professor Emeritus, National Security Affairs (CHDS), USA) and Professor Mauricio Miller (Ashoka Fellow, and Visiting Professor, Princeton University, USA). Professor Shaikh Fattah (Chair of IEEE SSIT Bangladesh Chapter and Education Committee of IEEE Humanitarian Activity Committee) moderated the event, and Professor Celia Shahnaz (IEEE Bangladesh Section Chair) was present as Special Guest.

A detailed summary of the two keynote talks and the issues explored during the Q&A session is available below as this month’s " Feature Article."

The IEEE SSIT Bangladesh Chapter will be contributing significantly to the upcoming International COVID19 Congress (ICC2020), a virtual event taking place 8-9 August 2020. Additional information about ICC2020 is available through IEEE Events and on Facebook.
 
 
 
 
Chapter Activity Report: Bahrain Chapter
 
 
Summary of material submitted by Adel Abdulla
 
 
On 1 July 2020, Dr. Adel Abdulla (Past Chair, Bahrain Section) delivered a virtual lecture on the " World After the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic."

The lecture explored the differences between our current pandemic and epidemics of the past, focusing on the ways in which modern technologies (and their companions, pollution and radiation) might be exacerbating the situation, and also on what our post-pandemic world might look like.

Looking to the future, the lecture covered both positive/optimistic projections (related to environmental, healthcare, governmental, economic, and technology-based factors) and more negative potential outcomes associated with the increased distancing between communities, cultures, and governments that the pandemic has produced.

The lecture closed by making several recommendations for securing economic and geopolitical stability, ensuring food and labor security, and developing effective technological solutions.
 
 
 
 
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 2020 is available here.

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 in India 2014, 2016, 2018. The next 21CW conference will take place from 22-25 July 2021 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.
 
 
 
 
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. 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
 
 
IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society
 
 
 
 
The IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society publishes 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, and be sure to read the June 2020 issue of the journal, which is now available.

Please show your support for this new SSIT initiative by subscribing today!

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.
 
 
 
 
Special Issue CFP from Information Technology & People
 
 
Theme: Business Analytics for the Management of Information Systems Development
Submission Deadline: 30 September 2020
 
 
Special issue editors:
Denis Dennehy, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland
Ilias Pappas, University of Agder, Norway
Samuel Fossa Wamba, Toulouse Business School, France
Katina Michael, Arizona State University, USA

Overview of Special Issue
This special issue seeks to collect contemporary research on the latest developments and challenges of how organisations exploit business analytics to support project/portfolio managers, project teams, and other project stakeholders. Please read the full CFP for a detailed overview of the special issue’s topic, a list of anticipated themes, and information about submission guidelines.

Important Dates:
  • Initial paper submission deadline: 30 September 2020
  • First round authors notification: 30 November 2020
  • Invited revisions deadline: 31 January 2021
  • Second round authors notification: 31 March 2021
  • Final revision deadline: 31 May 2021
  • Final authors notification: 30 June 2021
  • Projected publication date: Winter 2021
 
 
 
 
Ethical Dilemmas
 
 
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 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.

An example of a previously published ethical dilemma story, by Bruce Hunter, is available in the June 2020 SSIT newsletter.

Submit manuscripts to Rosann Marosy.
 
 
Conferences
 
 
IEEE GHTC 2020
Seattle, Washington
 | 29 October - 1 November 2020
 
 
 
 
The 10th Anniversary of the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC) will take place in Seattle from 29 October to 01 November 2020. IEEE GHTC 2020 will share practical technology-enabled solutions addressing needs of underserved communities in resource constrained environments around the world in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Hybrid and virtual presentation options are available for participation in the event.

IEEE GHTC 2020 Thematic areas include (but are not limited to)
  • Agriculture & Food Security (SDG2)
  • Good Health and Well Being (SDG3)
  • Quality Education (SDG4)
  • Clean Water & Sanitation (SDG6)
  • Affordable & Clean Energy (SDG7)
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG8)
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG11)
  • Disaster Mitigation, Preparedness, Response & Recovery
  • Communication/Connectivity in Support of Development
IEEE GHTC 2020 is sponsored by IEEE Region 6, IEEE Seattle Section and IEEE Society for Social Implications of Technology; with confirmed and expected Technical Co-Sponsors including: Consumer Electronics (CES), Engineering in Medicine and Biology (EMBS), Power & Energy (PES), and Microwave Theory and Techniques (MTTS) and IEEE-USA.
 
 
 
 
 
 
ISTAS 2020: Public Interest Technology
Virtual Event
 | 12-15 November 2020 

SSIT’s flagship conference, the International Symposium on Technology and Society, will take place this coming 12-15 November 2020 as a virtual event. Hosted by Arizona State University, ISTAS 2020 will convene at the same time as the Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN) meeting, offering new and exciting opportunities for collaboration. 

Submissions of abstracts, short papers, and full papers are due by 14 September 2020. Detailed instructions and the conference CFP are available here.

Registration is now open! An updated fee schedule and information about how to apply for free registration are available here.

Find out more about the ISTAS theme, venue, confirmed speakers, workshops, and submission process here, and stay tuned for more information about the event in future newsletters.
 
 
 
 
 
 
IEEE 3rd Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century (21CW2020): Being Human in a Global Village
Chennai, India
   | 22-25 July 2021 

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 upcoming 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.

This conference has three general themes:
  • The state of technologies initiated by Norbert 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 concept “global village.” 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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Feature Article: Keynote Addresses at Bangladesh “COVID19 Pandemic: Technology for Health” event
 
 
Submitted by Shaikh Fattah

Editor’s Note: A recording of the 26 June 2020 webinar “COVID19 Pandemic: Technology for Health,” which includes Luis Kun and Mauricio Miller’s talks and the Q&A that followed, is available on the IEEE Bangladesh Section Facebook page; event chair Shaikh Fattah has kindly provided this detailed summary of the material for SSIT readers.
 
 
 
 
Luis Kun delivered a talk titled " COVID19 Pandemic: Technological Challenges for the Prevention of Healthcare and Public Health." He started with a very relevant example of Anthrax that created a barrier on dispatching mails (in post office) right after 9/11 on 15th October 2001 but inspired a new channel of exchanging information via "email." In the same way, to him the COVID-19 is a "catalyst of change." He nicely depicted the flight route all over the world on a global map and made a relation of it with the spread of COVID-19.

In order to handle disasters, he focused on a holistic approach and gave an example of the earthquake disaster in Haiti in January 2011 and the consequences. He stressed that the lack of a sustainable water supply system caused a huge problem at that time to get the pure drinking water. In this case, various sectors need to be taken in consideration, such as public health, agriculture, food, transportation.

Next he focused on the health sector where he is expecting a shift of attention from "diagnosis, treatment and curing" to "staying well, maintaining and preventing." He explained the severity of various communicable and non-communicable diseases. He presented his idea of transforming from “hospital care” to “home care,” which can help to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. It may also help in maintaining quality of health service.

He inspired the audience to solve the problems involving experts from multi-disciplines and maintaining good inter-disciplinary communications. He also portrayed various effects of rapid urbanization and tried to point out some factors that need to be considered to handle rapid growth in some cities, like Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The audience got a very timely description about the “new normal” condition in the COVID-19 pandemic where he emphasized on faster detection and effective communication, integration and action. He also presented a brief description of two very interesting areas: Geomedicine and biosurveillance. For many of them these were relatively new areas and they gained a lot of information. He drew attention to various burning issues like air pollution, health hazard, tractability of animals. Finally he concluded the talk with some visions of the public health system and health surveillance.
 
 
 
 
Mauricio Miller gave stress on the term "mutuality" in a community and explained its importance in achieving best use of technology in health or any other relevant sector. First, he presented some social determinants of the health care system, such as housing, food, and social networks, which have a very huge influence on the overall health care system and well-being. The interaction of these factors with health is also very important. In order to enjoy the benefits of technology in the health sector, he thinks that these factors need to be addressed appropriately. He pointed out the advantage of internet facility, which is extremely needed to enjoy the benefit of technology in every sector. However, in many poor countries only a very small percentage of people have the internet data facility.

He gave examples of some ongoing projects in some poor and developing countries. In particular he explained a project where a platform was created to help the poor families in a community by online investment made by the rich people of all over the world. Use of a web-based technology gives here an opportunity to know the outcome of the received fund. Before COVID-19 they found very rapid financial return on the investment but now, due to the locked down situation, they are facing problems. But now they have shown a high level of mutuality, they are helping each other, whatever they are getting they are sharing.

After the talk there was a very useful open forum discussion session. Moderator of the event Professor Shaikh Fattah raised an issue of utilizing technology for health for low income groups who do not have financial capability as well as the necessary know-how about the technology. Prof. Miller suggested understanding the natural process and the current process of handling the problems without the use of technology, which may give a better solution.

Professor Shaikh Fattah briefly mentioned the importance of understanding a community problem from a multi-disciplinary perspective rather than always trying to solve it with a fixed or pre-determined process. A solution that is proven to be useful for a particular community may not work for another community if it is not modified as per the need. Multi-view perspective is also very effective even in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the Q/A session, some very critical issues were raised by the participants. For example, reviving economy versus health during COVID-19, difficulties in tele-health sectors, community limitations versus advanced technology, and transforming good practices in COVID-19 into habits. Prof. Miller shared the idea of empowering a small target group rather than trying to reach all people at the bottom. Those small trained groups can then serve as mentors. Prof. Luis added that sometimes instead of reaching individuals, a commonly used facility center may be effective. Both speakers agreed to consider the economy and health together and innovate policies depending on the country's current economy as well as health hazard situation.

The event was full of sharing very effective knowledge on technology for health, especially considering the COVID19 situation all over the world. Even after the end of the two hours session, Prof Kun answered various relevant questions from the audience and we found the participants very agile and satisfied.