LMC’s own Nassim Parvin is among the lead faculty in the newly established Ethics, Technology, and Human Interaction Center (ETHICx). The new Center — pronounced “ethics” — will advance ethics in research, education, and engagement at Georgia Tech in collaboration with communities, government, non-governmental organizations, and industry, as noted by a recent press release.
“The center is exciting and crucial as a hub of interdisciplinary research for framing and addressing pressing ethical issues at the forefront of techno-scientific practices,” notes Parvin. “Think, for example, of pervasive and constant surveillance brought forth by digital technologies, injustices such as racism, sexism, and ableism that are exasperated by algorithmic decisions, or the spread of misinformation and hate speech on social media. Technologies foreground vexing questions about free speech, privacy, human rights, and social justice among others. Decisions about whether and how technologies should be developed are not purely technical. They are rather multifaceted ethical, political, and philosophical questions.”
Parvin’s research centers on design philosophy, ethics of emerging technologies, and social justice. She has written about ethics of technologies such as self-driving cars, smart cities, and digital assistants as well as research methods such as participatory design and digital storytelling. Her interest in feminist and care ethics goes beyond the all too common emphasis on regulatory compliance and harm reduction to explore the depth and nuances of how technologies influence every aspect of our individual lives and social interactions.
Among activities that are synergetic with the center are Parvin’s lead editorial role in Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, an innovative open-access journal in the expanding interdisciplinary field of STS that recently received 2020 Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) Infrastructure Award. She also directs the Design and Social Justice Studio that she established in 2015; and serves as the associate director for Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center, an interdisciplinary research center funded by the Mellon Foundation. Parvin’s teaching has received multiple recognitions inclusive of the campus-wide 2017 GATECH CETL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award; and her designs have been deployed at non-profit organizations such as the Mayo Clinic and exhibited in venues such as the Smithsonian Museum, receiving multiple awards and recognitions.
“We have a responsibility and opportunity at Georgia Tech to tackle vexing ethical issues through dialogue and scholarship that integrates liberal arts and science and technology research. This kind of work is also key in educating students who can rise up to the ethical challenges of our time,” Parvin adds.
The center is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and the College of Computing.
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