The Just Tech program foregrounds questions of power, justice, and public impact of new technology. While not always assumed to be inherently positive, new technologies are often assumed to be a benefit to society. However, there is growing evidence showing that bias, harms, and injustice also emerge from novel uses of new tech.
Just Tech supports and mobilizes a diverse and cross-sector network of social researchers, including scholars, civil society researchers, artists, and journalists, to imagine and create more just technological futures. The program has three primary goals:
- To champion vital research that enhances collective knowledge about technology’s impacts and potential, illuminates the biases and harms created by some novel uses of technology, and identifies solutions that advance social, political, and economic rights.
- To center the perspectives of historically marginalized researchers and practitioners, whose work is often undervalued or underrepresented in the tech sector, government, and the academy.
- To sustain an intellectually diverse, cross-sector, and collaborative community of social researchers who can critically engage with and challenge status quo voices and institutions in every sector where technology is produced, deployed, and integrated into daily life.
Through its fellowship and platform, Just Tech creates a new ecosystem of research and social engagement, one that enriches public discourse, informs public policy, and radically imagines just futures where social and public interests drive technological change, instead of the other way around.
Just Tech Fellowship
Coming Fall 2021
The Just Tech Fellowship is a remote, two-year, full-time research fellowship that invests in a diverse community of social researchers who will identify and challenge injustices emerging from new technologies, and identify solutions that advance social, political, and economic rights.
The Fellowship was developed specifically to not only support scholars, artists, journalists, and organizers, but also to mitigate long-standing inequities in the research community. Just Tech will administer two-year awards of $100,000 per year, augmented by robust supplementary funding packages to subsidize expenses related to dependent care, healthcare, workspace, technical equipment, project materials, and communications. The Just Tech Fellowship is designed not only to support a researcher’s work, but to invest in their entire person and preserve the agency of fellows with different needs and goals.
Just Tech Platform
Coming in 2022
The Just Tech platform is a dynamic digital resource that aggregates, curates, and distills social research about the relationship between technological development, power, and social justice. The Just Tech platform serves as a critical resource for scholars, journalists, policymakers, educators, and interested citizens within and beyond the tech industry. It also showcases the work and profiles of the social researchers moving the field forward, including Just Tech Fellows, via interviews, profiles, essays, and field reviews.
A social researcher is anyone who systematically collects and uncovers evidence to answer a critical question about society and the public interest. Just Tech recognizes that social researchers come from diverse backgrounds and may include scholars, artists, journalists, or organizers.
The Just Tech Fellowship seeks social researchers who will advance our collective understanding of technology and society, and mobilize action around new knowledge.
The Social Science Research Council’s Just Tech program responds to a critical need in the technology ecosystem, empowering a diverse network of scholars and practitioners to imagine and create more equitable and representative technological futures. With the support of the MacArthur and Ford Foundations, Just Tech has awarded rapid-response grants to research projects that address the risks, opportunities, and challenges posed by technology in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, with focused attention to issues of power, inequality, and social impact.