Fountain Explores State Development in Digital Age as UMass Amherst’s Distinguished Faculty Lectures Begin Oct. 24
AMHERST, Mass. – Political scientist Jane E. Fountain of the Center for Public Policy and Administration will lead off the 2012-13 Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Wednesday, Oct. 24. Fountain, who is the founder and director of the National Center for Digital Government, will discuss “Technological Change as a Variable in State Development.”
Fountain will describe the ways in which information and communication technologies are transforming democracy around the world, and will suggest that these same technologies have the capacity to mitigate policy problems such as disaster preparedness, disease outbreaks and environmental degradation.
At the same time, Fountain warns, powerful surveillance and aggregation systems now track individuals and groups at a level of detail never before imaginable. She will examine the implications of technology for the future of the state, citizenship, democracy, the relationship between individual and society and personal freedom.
For more than 35 years, UMass Amherst has recognized distinguished faculty achievements by sponsoring this annual series. The series honors individual faculty members and their achievements and celebrates the value of academic excellence. Lecturers are presented with a Chancellor’s Medal at the conclusion of each talk.
All lectures in the series are free and open to the public and begin at 4 p.m. in the Massachusetts Room at the Mullins Center. A reception immediately follows each lecture.
Other speakers in this year’s series are:
· Stephen Clingman, department of English, on “Looking from South Africa to the World: A Story of Identity for Our Times,” Monday, Dec. 3.
· Thomas Zoeller, department of biology, discussing “The Brain on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals” on Monday, Feb. 25.
· Laurie Brown, department of geosciences, discussing “Magnetic Field Reversals: The Ups and Downs of Earth’s Dipole, as Seen from South America” on Monday, March 11.