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.

Our October 2019 meeting is now scheduled! See below for registration.

Our meetings are now accessible by WebEx from wherever you are in the world! You must register at the Registration link and ask for WebEx instructions under Special Request area on the registration site (but the October 2019 is not available on WebEx unfortunately).

October 2019 IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology Chapter Meeting:

Topic: Election Security and Technology Focus at the AAAS Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues

When: Wednesday 16 October 2019 06:30 PM

Where: 1200 New York Ave NW (AAAS Building; Use the entrance at the intersection of H and 12th St NW), Washington, DC

Speaker: Dr Michael Fernandez of American Association for Advancement of Science

Registration: * Free * Please register at https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/205639

Contact: Murty Polavarapu murtyp@ieee.org

Abstract:

The American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues (EPI Center) is a new initiative designed to deliver clear, concise, and actionable scientific evidence to policymakers and other decision-makers. The EPI Center synthesizes and distills scientific evidence on key societal issues in a way that makes it clear how that evidence can inform policy-making and decisions at the local, state, and federal levels. Our first issue is voting technology and security.

In too many counties across the country, ballots are being cast on insecure electronic systems that record a voter’s selection directly to the machine’s memory and automatically tabulate votes. The scientific community has demonstrated the security vulnerabilities of these direct recording electronic systems, many of which leave no physical record of the cast vote. Many counties across the country are preparing to spend millions of dollars to replace aging voting equipment before the 2020 election while others remain unconcerned about the security of their election systems, but few are aware of the recommendations issued in 2018 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in the report Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy. We have reached out to hundreds of election officials over the last few months. Messages that focus exclusively on the computer science evidence related to cybersecurity without considering the role of behavioral science evidence fail to capture the complexity of the challenges local election officials face. This initial effort from the EPI Center reflects broader challenges of how scientists can help integrate scientific evidence into public dialogue and issues.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Michael Fernandez is the founding director of the AAAS EPI Center. His experience in science policy and public affairs includes leadership positions in private industry as well as at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Pesticides, Prevention, and Toxic Substances and at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service. He was senior director of global public policy at Mars, Incorporated, and executive director at the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology. Michael was most recently a senior fellow at George Washington University’s Food Policy Institute and Sustainability Collaborative and a lecturer at the Milken Institute School of Public Health. Michael was an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry in 1991, and went on to serve on the committee’s professional staff for three years. Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Chicago.

You can also now earn IEEE Certified Professional Development Hours for a small administrative fee.

The Chapter is seeking nominations for leadership positions for 2020.  Please contact Murty Polavarapu (murtyp@ieee.org) if you are interested.

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

The Chapter’s most recent meetings include:

Garbage In, Garbage Out: The Predictable and Unpredictable Challenges of Regulating Machine Learning Systems

TECHNOLOGY POLICY UPDATE: IMPLICATIONS FOR IEEE MEMBERS, ACADEMICS, TECHNOLOGISTS, INNOVATORS, RESERACHERS AND ENTREPRENEURS

COMPUTING MEDICINE 

NEUROWEAPONS: THE REAL AND PRESENT THREAT OF NEW NEUROACTIVE DRUGS, BUGS, TOXINS AND DEVICES

A WELLNESS-CENTRIC HEALTHCARE SYSTEM WITH INTEROPERABLE PUBLIC HEALTH: THE MULTIDIMENSIONAL GLOBAL THREATS, INTERDEPENDENCES OF THE CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURES, AND GEOMEDICINE

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO QUANTUM COMPUTERS AND THEIR SOCIETAL IMPLICATIONS

EMERGING BIOTECHNOLOGIES: IMPLICATIONS FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AND BIODEFENSE

HUMAN GENOME EDITING – PROMISE AND PERIL

THE IP GUYS, TWO ENGINEERS TURNED LAWYERS TO ENCOURAGE AND PROTECT OUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

EMERGING NEUROTECHNOLOGIES: PRACTICAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES AT THE INTERSECTION OF BRAIN SCIENCE AND SOCIETY

IS TECHNOLOGY MAKING US DUMBER OR SMARTER?

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!

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