Graduate Student Workshop: Values in Computer and Information System Design

The website for the Workshop Values in Computer and Information System Design has launched (my design).

Graduate Student Workshop: Values in Computer Information System Design

Despite a growing body of research and scholarship dedicated both to theoretical and practical dimensions of this important subject, institutional responses have been sporadic and somewhat sparse. Several goals have motivated the design of this workshop:

  • Deepen knowledge and understanding of the complex interplay between social, moral, political and cultural values and technology through the aggregation and study of a diverse canon of works;
  • Create opportunities for collaborations among researchers and scholars (current and future) historically separated by institutional, geographic, and disciplinary boundaries;
  • Reveal relevant literatures, approaches, and methodologies to graduate students, who might not, in the normal course of their respective programs, see them;
  • Promote the development of collegial networks among established scholars and as well as students.

In the first week, students will cover core readings of theoretical works on the complex interplay between the design of information and communications devices, systems, and infrastructures on the one hand and social, ethical, and political values, on the other. The curriculum will also cover approaches to design and design methodologies which incorporate a broad vision of what it means to build “good” systems. The Workshop will place special emphasis on privacy and information infrastructures.

In the second week, guest faculty, including major theorists and design practitioners, will lead discussions and share their own work. A panel of Silicon Valley leaders convoked on one day of the workshop will reflect on how values bear on their own work in the corporate world.

The workshop is directed by Geoffrey Bowker (Santa Clara University) and Helen Nissenbaum (New York University), and hosted by the Center for Science, Technology & Society at Santa Clara University. It is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Ford Foundation. The website includes student and faculty bios, project descriptions, related links, and more.

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