Society on Social Implications of Technology Chapter

Welcome to the Northern Virginia/Washington/Baltimore Chapter of the IEEE Society on Social Implications on Technology (SSIT).  SSIT is concerned with how technology impacts the world, and with how the application of technology can improve the world.

See below for our February 2022 Meetings:

All of our meetings are now virtual.  When you register for the meeting, you will receive a confirmation email with WebEx connection information.

February 23, 2022 IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology Chapter Meeting 

Topic:The Galileo Project: In Search for Technological Interstellar Objects

When: February 23 2022 06:30 PM Eastern Time

Where: Online only (Please register to receive access information)

Speaker: Dr. Abraham (Avi) Loeb of Harvard University


Contact: Murty Polavarapu


The search for extraterrestrial life is one of the most exciting frontiers in science. First tentative clues were identified close to Earth in the form of the unusual interstellar object ‘Oumuamua’ and Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) in the Earth’s atmosphere. The recently announced “Galileo Project” ushers the new frontier of “space archeology” in search of extraterrestrial technological relics. This lecture will feature content from the speaker’s books “Extraterrestrial” and textbook “Life in the Cosmos“, both published in 2021, as well as material from his frequent  commentaries.

Speaker Bio:

Abraham (Avi) Loeb is the Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science at Harvard University and a bestselling author (in lists of the New York Times,Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, Die Zeit, Der Spiegel, L’Express and more). He received a PhD in Physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel at age 24 (1980-1986), led the first international project supported by the Strategic Defense Initiative (1983-1988), and was subsequently a long-term member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (1988-1993). Loeb has written 8 books, including most recently, Extraterrestrial (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021), and about 800 papers(with an h-index of 117) on a wide range of topics, including black holes, the first stars, the search for extraterrestrial life and the future of the Universe. Loeb is the head of the Galileo Project in search for extraterrestrial intelligence, the Director of the Institute for Theory and Computation (2007-present) within the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics , and also serves as the Head of the Galileo Project (2021-present). He had been the longest serving Chairof Harvard’s Department of Astronomy (2011-2020) and the Founding Director of Harvard’s Black Hole Initiative (2016-2021). He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the International Academy of Astronautics. Loeb is a former member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)at the White House, a former chair of the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies (2018-2021) and a current member of the Advisory Board for “Einstein: Visualize the Impossible” of the Hebrew University. He also chairs the Advisory Committee for the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative (2016-present) and serves as the Science Theory Director for all Initiatives of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. In 2012, TIME magazine selected Loeb as one of the 25 most influential people in space and in 2020 Loeb was selected among the 14 most inspiring Israelis of the last decade. Click here for Loeb’s commentaries on innovation and diversity.

Personal website:

The Chapter is still seeking nominations for leadership positions for 2022.  Please contact Murty Polavarapu ( if you are interested.

If you have any suggestions for topics and speakers, please contact the Chapter Chair Murty Polavarapu. We also need volunteers!

SSIT’s  activities at Society level include:

  • IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, an award-winning journal containing both peer-reviewed and general interest articles.
  • The International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS), held annually. Support and sponsorship of additional conferences.
  • An active network of SSIT chapters spanning the globe.
  • Awarding of the periodic IEEE Carl Barus Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest.
  • A Guest Lecturer program on critical topics of interest.
  • Online discussion of social impacts of technology through forums, website, blogs, and social media.
  • Support for members who speak, publish and advocate on SSIT topics within the Society or as participants in other IEEE societies and professional activities.

Membership in SSIT is open to all IEEE members and student members. Affiliation with SSIT with all benefits except voting rights is available to persons who are not members of IEEE.

Join us!