On March 1, the Social Science Research Council will launch the Just Tech platform, a new website dedicated to mapping research and showcasing scholars and practitioners leading the field of social justice and emergent technology. The platform is a project of the Council’s Just Tech program, which investigates questions of power, justice, and the public impact of new technologies while imagining and creating more just and equitable futures.
Join us at 1:00 p.m. on March 1 to celebrate the Just Tech platform launch with a live demo and Q&A session, featuring remarks from Ruha Benjamin, Timnit Gebru, Alondra Nelson, and Safiya U. Noble.
The platform will feature an extensive set of resources that will be valuable to anyone interested in a synoptic view of this emergent field of research and practice:
- field reviews about the state of research on discrete subjects at the intersection of novel technology and social justice, written and reviewed by experts
- essays and interviews from leading researchers and practitioners
- profiles of Just Tech’s network of researchers and practitioners, including fellows, grantees, and contributors to the platform
- a free-to-use database of citations that leverages Zotero, an open-source citation library
- a regularly updated calendar of public events
Register to learn more about the forthcoming Just Tech platform.
Closed captioning will be provided.
Ruha Benjamin is professor of African American studies at Princeton University, founding director of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab, author of the award-winning book Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (2019) and the forthcoming book Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want (2022) among other publications. Her work investigates the social dimensions of science, medicine, and technology with a focus on the relationship between innovation and inequity, health and justice, knowledge and power. Ruha earned a BA in sociology and anthropology from Spelman College, MA and PhD in sociology from UC Berkeley, and completed postdoctoral fellowships at UCLA’s Institute for Society & Genetics and Harvard’s Science, Technology & Society Program. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including from the American Council of Learned Societies and National Science Foundation, as well as the Marguerite Casey Foundation 2020 Freedom Scholar Award and the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton. For more info, please visit www.ruhabenjamin.com.
Timnit Gebru is the founder and executive director of the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (DAIR). Prior to that, she was fired by Google in December 2020 for raising issues of discrimination in the workplace, where she was serving as co-lead of the Ethical AI research team. She received her PhD from Stanford University, and did a postdoc at Microsoft Research, New York City in the FATE (Fairness Accountability Transparency and Ethics in AI) group, where she studied algorithmic bias and the ethical implications underlying projects aiming to gain insights from data. Timnit also cofounded Black in AI, a nonprofit that works to increase the presence, inclusion, visibility, and health of Black people in the field of AI, and is on the board of AddisCoder, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching algorithms and computer programming to Ethiopian high school students, free of charge.
Alondra Nelson is the Harold F. Linder Chair and Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, an independent research center in Princeton, New Jersey. Nelson’s contributions to the study of science, technology, race, and social citizenship—and their intersections—are explored in her acclaimed books The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome (2016); Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race and History (2012; with Keith Wailoo and Catherine Lee); Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination (2011); Afrofuturism (2002), and Technicolor: Race, Technology and Everyday Life (2001; with Thuy Linh Tu). Nelson is currently serving in the Biden-Harris administration as deputy director for science and society in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She was the 14th president of the Social Science Research Council and a member of the Just Tech Steering Committee.
Safiya U. Noble is an internet studies scholar and professor of gender studies and African American studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she serves as the cofounder and codirector of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2). She holds affiliations in the School of Education & Information Studies, and is a research associate at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford, where she is a commissioner on the Oxford Commission on AI & Good Governance (OxCAIGG). In 2021, she was recognized as a MacArthur Foundation Fellow (also known as the “Genius Award”) for her ground-breaking work on algorithmic discrimination, which prompted her founding of a nonprofit, Equity Engine, to accelerate investment in companies, education, and networks driven by women of color. She is the author of a best-selling book on racist and sexist algorithmic bias in commercial search engines, entitled Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (NYU Press), which has been widely reviewed in scholarly and popular publications.