Tuesday, June 11th ~ Workshop Breakout Schedules from 15:45 to 17:45
Organizer: Martin Weinel & Rob Evans
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Queen Elizabeth Suite
Organizer: Katie Plaisance
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Organizer: Erik Fisher
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Bios & Abstracts from this session
Disrupting Law: Emerging Technology and Regulatory Landscapes
Keywords: 3D printing, emerging technology, regulation, technological possibility
Authors: Daniel Southwick, ginger coons, Matt Ratto & Isaac Record, University of Toronto
Abstract: Soon after Cody Wilson released his plans for the Liberator 3D printable gun, our research laboratory undertook to produce a non-functioning version of the gun in order to assess the technical, material, and economic challenges associated with 3D printing proscribed objects. This paper recounts our experiences in creating the gun and analyzes the disruptive implications of increasing availability of emerging fabrication technologies for regulation and regulators. 3D printing promises to upend traditional manufacturing by making complex, precision objects easy to produce. Plans are digital and can be duplicated and distributed over the Internet essentially without cost. 3D printers themselves, like their 2D namesakes, appear to be general purpose machines with many legitimate functions, making their regulation a challenge. Some attention has already been paid to what regulators should do and to predicting what they will do. In this paper, we seek to explore what regulators can do. First, we lay out a conceptual framework that allows us to assess the technological possibilities afforded by 3D printers. Second, we assess the increased regulatory challenge presented by this changed technological infrastructure. We observe that much effective regulation is accomplished by technical, economic, ethical, and social constraints on action rather than by explicit legal proscription. For example, the high cost of precision machining and high level of technical skill required has traditionally been an effective prophylaxis against private individuals producing firearms “under the radar.” Low-cost 3D printers have the potential to allow for the near-effortless creation of precision parts, erasing this “contextual regulation.” We consider, in broad strokes, several possible regulatory targets: 3D printers, print materials, software, and the design file. For example, 3D printers could be licensed, materials could be watermarked, software could prevent the creation of certain shapes, or designs could carry increased legal culpability for damages or injuries. Against the potential gains to public safety, we weigh the potential costs of regulation that may 1) increase barriers to innovation, 2) unnecessarily restrict or complicate access to general purpose equipment, or 3) be unworkably costly in dollars and person-hours.
Bio: Isaac Record: I am a philosopher of science and technology. My methodology is empirically grounded conceptual analysis. My research concerns the relationship between technology and knowledge and, in particular, how technology figures into the process of knowledge production. I study the practices that form at the interface between humans and technologies to see how they work to facilitate or hinder the production of knowledge and I analyze the construction of that interface, how it is negotiated, and how it can be improved. I analyse the conceptual, material, and procedural products of design in terms of “technological possibilities” for bringing about desired ends and the “practices of trust” that enable users to reliably coordinate material and conceptual resources.
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Repairing The Broken Pipeline:Reshaping Pathways to Post-‐Bench Careers for STEM Graduate Students
Authors: Stephanie E. Vasko, Penn State
Abstract: While the majority of students graduating with a Ph.D. in STEM fields will not obtain a tenure-‐track position, training for these students has not adapted to the changing landscape of post-‐graduate careers. Relatively minimal resources exist for students to learn how to adapt skills from a STEM Ph.D. to positions outside of the lab or outside academia and pathways to these positions often remain unclear. In this paper, I seek to unpack the values and decisions that have led to, continue to create, and/or enforce roadblocks to alternative careers for STEM graduates. Additionally, I plan to identify moments where disciplinary attitudes or academic tribalism negatively impact career advancement decisions and opportunities. I will discuss the dual-‐edged nature of NIH's new Broadening Experience in Scientific Training awards, the perceived lack of positions for STEM graduates interested in policy work, and examine how interest in alternate career pathways can be built into ongoing efforts in both redeveloping the K-‐12 STEM curriculum and integrating ethics education into this curriculum.
Training in nontraditional careers could also open up the formation of new and nontraditional collaborations.
Bio: Stephanie E. Vasko is currently a Senior Research Assistant at the Rock Ethics Institute at the Pennsylvania State University. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry & Nanotechnology from the University of Washington in 2012. Her current work at Penn State focuses on the development of open-access, interactive online modules for graduate students that teach about ethical issues in scientific topics related to sustainability. Her research interests include nanotechnology, nanoethics, STEM education, the intersection and interplay between science and policy, transhumanism, and environmental justice.
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Clinical Ethics Committees as a Model for Socially Engaged and Responsible Research
Keywords: Socially relevant philosophy of science, community engagement, responsible research
Authors: Trystan Goetze, University of Toronto
Abstract: In Volume 177, Issue 3 of Synthese (eds. Plaisance & Fehr 2010), the authors call for a more socially relevant philosophy of science—that is, for philosophers of science to contribute both to better scientific research and to the public good by becoming more engaged with scientists and communities affected by scientific research. Because of the emergent and highly pluralistic nature of this endeavour, most suggestions for how to go about this engagement are lacking in details. In medical institutions, issues arising from similar interactions between expert and lay communities have been increasingly addressed by consultations between the affected parties with clinical ethics committees. These committees are made up of medical professionals, administrators, ethicists, clerics, and community members. Using the structure of clinical ethics committees as a guide, I propose a model for similar committees made up of philosophers, scientists, and community/industry stakeholders. The proposal is not to simply broaden the membership and scope of research ethics review boards (which risks over-bureaucratizing research), nor is it to allow communities outside of scientific research to determine research agendas (which would grossly violate academic freedom). These advisory committees would provide a forum for community feedback on scientific projects, allowing both lay and academic publics to inform scientists of the impact of their research, and providing connections for collaboration on topics of public concern. Drawing on the literature on clinical ethics consultation, I highlight challenges faced by clinical ethics committees that are expected to be faced by these committees as well.
Bio: Philosophy is my disciplinary home, but, building off the interdisciplinary background and methods I was taught through Waterloo's Bachelor of Knowledge Integration programme, my approach to the subject works across traditional boundaries and subdisciplines and seeks inspiration from other humanities and sciences. At the meta-level, I am especially interested in how academic philosophy, and other scholarly pursuits, can contribute to the public good, and make the university a community hub. I am currently working on a master's thesis that, inspired by John Dewey, Michel Foucault, Richard Rorty, Martha Nussbaum, and others, seeks to answer the question "Can our conception of the university provide a democratic ideal of education?" Once I have finished, I am off to Sheffield, UK to begin work on my PhD. I am rather new at all this and still finding my "niche", so while collaboration on some issue of interest to conference attendees would be exciting, I'm not sure to what extent I can participate as yet!
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TURINEX 2.0: Asynchronous Testing for Development of Communicative Competence
Authors: Andrew Berardy, Thomas Seager, Russell Uhl, and Evan Selinger, Arizona State University
Abstract: Despite the fact that interactional expertise is crucial for all interdisciplinary efforts, no method existed for evaluating an individual’s progress towards this level of expertise as a result of education and training experiences, until we developed one. Conceptual and technical challenges were abundant in the creation of what we expected to be a simple program, and continued to surface after its completion as testing revealed unexpected problems and weaknesses. Here we discuss the challenges faced and solutions reached, as well as look forward to the future of the program and look back on the insights gained so far from testing. TURINEX (Test for Ubiquitous through Real or INteractional EXpertise) is designed to assess communicative competence acquired through experiences that are insufficient to impart interactional expertise, but advance students beyond the novice stage. TURINEX currently functions by coordinating questions from a judge to three respondents, requiring that four participants be available at once. This makes scheduling difficult, especially when performing international testing where lunchtime for one participant is the middle of the night for another. Despite this obstacle, involving participants from multiple countries in individual tests revealed fascinating insights and troubling complications. For example, in a test judging dietary preference, an American vegan judge thought a vegetarian respondent from India was an omnivore because they were not familiar with the many meat substitutes available in the United States. In another test between US citizens and Ugandans on the energy needs of Ugandans the expert judge found that an actual Ugandan was not an expert, whereas a U.S. citizen who had a training experience with the judge in Uganda passed as an intermediate expert. A similar test with all US participants resulted in a determination that all three were at an intermediate level of expertise. These results suggest that expertise testing may be distorted by cultural differences, familiarity with or similarity to the views of the judge, and the level of expertise of respondents besides the experimental subject. These factors may actually trump explicit knowledge and experience in testing. To accelerate TURINEX testing to support training efforts it is necessary to reduce participant burdens and enable participation by individuals with unstable internet access such as in Uganda. Therefore, we are redesigning TURINEX to be asynchronous, meaning that participants will be able to ask questions or respond at their own convenience instead of requiring simultaneous availability. Using a case study of testing expertise in veganism, we explain how the new software will help advance expertise assessment methodology. We also discuss findings from trials run so far that support the idea of veganism as an expertise.
Bio: Andrew: My dissertation research is on the role expertise plays in helping people deal with the wicked problem of sustainable food consumption. My primary contribution to this area is the development of TURINEX, a tool designed to test for levels of expertise. I have a BS and MS in International Studies, so I consider myself as having a humanities background. I am more engaged with science and engineering through my advisor and TA work, and am currently a PhD candidate in Sustainability, working on finishing my dissertation.
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Something Something: What is the Expertise of Production and Who Has It?
Authors: Philippe Ross (University of Ottawa) & Jeremy Shtern (Ryerson University)
Abstract: This paper discusses how SEE and the Imitation Game methodology can be used to explore expertise in media and the creative industries. It begins by outlining a project that aims to understand the extent to which producers of narrative screen media content can be said to know their audiences and, conversely, the extent to which members of the public can be said to possess the specialist knowledge required in production. These are persistent knowledge problems in media and communication studies but they require fresh consideration in a media landscape that promotes self-expression, a so-called ongoing conversation between producers and audiences and, generally, the idea that anyone can be a legitimate producer of content. To this end, we consider different configurations of the Imitation Game designed to enable the exploration of the substance of expertise in various fields of media practice; the interactional expertise of professional producers with respect to their audience; and the interactional expertise of audience members in mass media production. The paper then presents the preliminary results of a pilot study that was carried out with students in Ryerson University's Creative Industries programme using the Masquerade app.
Bio: Philippe Ross is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, University of Ottawa (Canada). He obtained a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science and was SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Communication Studies at Concordia University (Canada). His work, which focuses on the knowledge, experience and expertise of new media producers, has appeared in journals such as Social Studies of Science, New Media & Society, Television and New Media, Sociology Compass and tic&société.
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