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.

  • Putting Social Science to Work for Society

    Social science research—spanning disciplines as diverse as economics, anthropology, political science, and psychology—illuminates the inner workings of human behavior and society. How can this research be effectively applied to discover solutions to some of society’s most complex and formidable problems? And what role can universities play in transforming the social sciences into drivers of societal improvement?

    These questions are at the heart of “Retrofitting Social Science for the Practical & Moral,” Kenneth Prewitt’s feature article in the latest edition of Issues in Science and Technology. Prewitt, a professor at Columbia University and former director of the US Census Bureau, will discuss his article at the launch event for the Fall 2019 Issues on November 20 in Washington, DC. He’ll be joined by Mary Ellen O’Connell (National Academies), Jed Herrmann (Results for America), and Toby Smith (Association for American Universities) in a wide-ranging exploration of how this research can better serve society.

    Date

    November 20, 2019 12:00pm—1:30pm

    Location Information

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

    Links

  • Cooling a Warming Planet?

    The scientific uncertainties and contested values surrounding geoengineering research, particularly for a class of methods called solar radiation management (SRM), make it a prime issue for which public deliberation can provide valuable input. With SRM research advancing to the field-research phase, the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes (CSPO), with funding support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, designed a set of public deliberations to explore questions of trust, transparency, consent, safety, collaboration, and other issues of importance related to SRM research.

    CSPO convened groups of diverse citizens in two day-long forums to discuss SRM research in September 2018. The research team is now hosting a results launch event to share the deliberation results with SRM experts and stakeholders. Following a presentation of the high-level findings, a panel of experts will offer their reactions to the results report. All event participants will then have the opportunity to receive a copy of the final results report and ask additional questions.

    Date

    November 06, 2019 11:30am—1:30pm

  • 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