CSPO Conversations

Occasional Encounters in Science, Society and Policy

CSPO conversations are occasional dialogues and collective reflections, among thought leaders, partners and collaborators, on contemporary issues at the intersections of science, society and policy — from the perils of remaining captive to a “scientific-technological elite” to pragmatic actions in dealing with climate change.

  • The Science of Bureaucracy

    Current headlines tell us there is a “war on science”, focused particularly keeping scientists of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) closely in check by those who want to contain federal environmental policies.  But the history of science in the EPA tells a more complicated story of how science, in becoming central to the identity of federal bureaucracies, has long been evolving under a variety of pressures to maintain its status as a constitutive element of the agency’s legitimacy.

    In this CSPO Conversations breakfast seminar, David Demortain (INRA) will discuss his forthcoming book, The Science of Bureaucracy. Risk Decision-Making and the US Environmental Protection Agency, and how the EPA has shaped the science of risk-based decision-making since its inception.

    Date

    October 21, 2019 8:30am—10:30am

    Location Information

    ASU Barrett & O’Connor Center
    1800 I St NW
    8th Floor
    Washington, DC 20006

    Links

  • How to Talk About Carbon Removal: Critical Questions About Climate Change Futures

    Why do plans for keeping global temperatures below 1.5°C depend on the deployment of this hypothetical carbon removal and storage technology? Large-scale carbon capture has become an implicit, but critical, component of many climate proposals. No less an authority than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change relies on unproven, uncertain carbon dioxide removal technologies to meet its ambitious targets.

    Join Northeastern University professor Matthew Nisbet and the Institute for Carbon Removal Law & Policy for a discussion on a report in preparation, The Carbon Removal Debate: Asking Critical Questions about Climate Change Futures. The report works towards a common climate justice framework that can inform how various stakeholders think about, talk about, and act on this potentially transformative—but as yet still unproven—technology.

    Date

    September 12, 2019 8:30am—10:30am

    Location Information

    ASU Barrett & O’Connor Center
    1800 I St NW
    8th Floor
    Washington, DC 20006

    Links

  • Social Media, Artificial Intelligence and National Security

    This workshop will first highlight the issue of social media and AI cases that have attempted to manipulate people and describe various influence campaigns through broadcast or microtargeting strategies. Workshop participants will then consider how governments and organizations are responding to the misuse of online platforms, and evaluate various ways in which AI-based social media might be regulated internationally. The responsibility of social media platform providers will also be brought into the discussion, as algorithms can detect bot-generated and dispersed information. Finally, strategies for preventing and counter-attacking disinformation campaigns will be considered in cases and contexts where such messaging becomes a destabilizing force in communications. Emerging areas of research, such as neuromorphic computing, will be discussed in the context of cyberwarfare and espionage.

    Date

    May 01, 2019 8:30am—4:30pm

    Additional Information

    ASU Barrett & O’Connor Center
    1800 I St NW
    8th Floor
    Washington, DC 20006

    Links

  • Higher Education Re-Imagined

    Launch event for the Winter 2019 Issues in Science and Technology.

    Systemic weaknesses within the US system of higher education and workforce training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have been well documented for decades. From overspecialization and elitism to sexual harassment and skewed incentives, these problems continue to sap the vitality and social value of the STEM enterprise—threatening the United States’ global leadership in STEM education.

    How can these challenges be addressed? In a series of clear-eyed essays in the Winter 2019 Issues in Science and Technology, Lida Beninson, Frazier Benya, Tom Rudin, and Layne Scherer present compelling pathways toward sustainable, systemic, inclusive, institutional change.

    Date

    February 07, 2019 4:00pm—6:00pm

    Location Information

    The Keck Center, Room 101
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20001

    Links

  • Progress Against Alzheimer’s Disease

    What are the implications of this history for ongoing efforts to deal with Alzheimer’s disease?  What does it say about investments in the study of health services, and innovations in health care delivery? As Congress provides new money to fund research, what lessons can help guide the next generation of public investments?

    To celebrate the publication of the Fall 2018 Issues in Science and Technology, ASU professor Robert Cook-Deegan, author of “Progress Against Alzheimer’s Disease?” and an OTA alum,will talk with Zaven Khachaturian, editor-in-chief of Alzheimer’s & Dementia and former director of the Office of Alzheimer Research at the National Institutes of Health. Join us for a fascinating look at the current state of and future opportunities for Alzheimer’s treatment and care.

    Date

    November 16, 2018 8:30am—10:30am

    Location Information

    ASU Barrett & O’Connor Center Washington Center
    1800 I Street NW
    Washington, DC 20006

    Links

  • Data Alive Workshop

    This workshop seeks to provide a platform for multidisciplinary perspectives on “data”. Digital data has traditionally been defined as “bits and bytes”; it was not information, and it was not knowledge or wisdomThere is no doubt that data drives decision making in corporations; a process of transformation into something other than bits and bytes sheds light on short term and long-term structural objectives. Today there are machine-to-machine communications, without a human in the loop. What are some of the social implications of such systems? What is the role of the human in an increasingly technocratic society? How can we leverage data for human and environmental sustainability? How is narrative important to our future(s)? The Workshop will invite stakeholders of all types to participate in activities, allowing them to return to their workplaces to ask the same questions and the same challenges elicited in the Workshop.

    Date

    November 15, 2018 8:30am—5:00pm

    Location Information

    ASU Barrett & O’Connor Center
    1800 I St NW
    8th Floor
    Washington, DC 20006

    Links

  • Governing Solar Radiation Management

    SRM research, with its potential for irreversible changes to a complex global system, is controversial and raises many questions. One of the most critical of these questions is the governance of SRM research: how should decisions governing this research be made, by whom, and with what objectives? CSPO and the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, within American University’s School of International Service, invites you to a conversation about FCEA’s latest report, “Governing Solar Radiation Management.” Join us to learn about the conclusions of the report and hear members of the Working Group reflect on the process of crafting this consensus document while also providing critical feedback on the report.

    Date

    October 30, 2018 12:00pm—2:00pm

    Location Information

    ASU Barrett & O’Connor Washington Center

    1800 I Street NW

    Washington, DC 20006

    Links

  • A Humble Insect, the Quest for Knowledge, and Our Unnatural Future

    “The proper study of mankind is man,” Alexander Pope famously wrote in 1733. But award-winning journalist Lisa Margonelli’s new book, Underbug: An Obsessive Tale of Termites and Technology, tells us that the proper study of mankind might very well be termites. In telling this tale of what science is learning about termites, Margonelli is really pursuing deeper questions about science and humanity itself, to ask, “How do we know what we know?” and even “How do we know who we are?” Underbug is a wise, funny, disquieting, and hopeful portrayal of how humanity’s quest for knowledge about the world around us is also a mirror on our inner selves.

    Join Lisa Margonelli and National Public Radio science reporter Richard Harris in a discussion of Underbug, followed by a book signing. Books will be available for purchase.

    Date

    September 05, 2018 8:30am—10:30am

    Location Information

    ASU Barrett & O’Connor Washington Center

    1800 I Street NW

    Washington, DC 20006

    Links