In this issue:

Science, Technology and Society

Spring 2009

Based in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Center for Public Policy and Administration, the STS Initiative is a catalyst for inter-disciplinary, collaborative research among the natural, physical and social sciences, engineering and public policy and a locus of engagement with governments, NGOs, business and civil society. Much of our work is international in scope reflecting the global nature of science and technology. The Initiative builds on and amplifies faculty research interests.

This e-newsletter highlights recent research, teaching and engagement activities in the STS portfolio.


News & Updates
yt Conference Examines Electoral Impact of YouTube
More than 70 social and computer scientists came together April 16 and 17, 2009 to explore the electoral impact of user created media like YouTube at the first annual Journal of Information Technology and Politics conference at UMass Amherst. Papers, posters, videos and slides from the conference are available through the conference website and observations about the conference have been compiled and posted to YouTube itself. The conversations and collaborations started at the conference will continue through the conference's CrowdVine site.
STS, NCDG & Du Bois Library to Build Beta Site for NSF's Ethics Digital Repository
Jane Fountain, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Director of the National Center for Digital Government and Science, Technology and Society (STS) Initiative, and Marilyn Billings, Scholarly Communication & Special Initiatives Librarian at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library, have received a $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Office of Integrative Research to create an interdisciplinary, multimedia, and international online beta repository to examine and test effective ways of coordinating ethics materials from across science and engineering disciplines, including the social sciences.The project, developed in response to the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Act and in partnership with the National Academy of Engineering, will direct faculty from a range of disciplines to resources appropriate for their classrooms and their graduate and post-doctoral researchers.Visit the project website.
videolectures STS Launches Videosite
STS is pleased to announce its new videosite, developed in partnership with works to promote science, exchange ideas and foster knowledge sharing by providing high quality didactic contents not only to a scientific community but also to a general public. boasts a global reach among scientists and policymakers. Visit the STS videosite and explore videos from STS's diverse research projects, colloquium series and workshops today.
IT Interested in Information Technology Education?
With its vast expertise in information technology and emerging media, the STS Initiative has received several requests from students for information technology education "tracks." As a result, we are compiling lists of undergraduate and graduate courses that specifically explore the social impact of technology. To view our current listings click here. If you would like your course listed, please contact STS.


martha Fuentes-Bautista to Teach in Portugal
Martha Fuentes-Bautista, Assistant Professor of Communication and Public Policy, will teach at the International School on Digital Transformation (ISDT), an intensive six-day residential program in Porto, Portugal this summer. ISDT brings together emerging and established scholars and professionals from around the world to discuss how digital technologies are changing societies and the world as a whole. Applications are currently being accepted for the program, which is conducted in English. [more]
erkul National Center for Digital Government Welcomes Turkish Research Fellow
R. Erdem Erkul has joined the National Center for Digital Government (NCDG) as a Visiting Doctoral Fellow. Erdem is a PhD candidate at the School of Political Sciences at Ankara University, Turkey and a researcher at Hacettepe University in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. Erdem owns and edits and, both of which have received many awards and been visited by over 5,000,000 people. NCDG also welcomed Cheryl Kiras, a first year student at the Center for Public Policy & Administration, as a Research Fellow this semester. [more]
schweik Schweik Chairs Open Source Geospatial Education & Curriculum Project
Charles Schweik, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Natural Resources Conservation, is acting as the Educational Chair for the Open Source Geospatial Foundation's Education and Curriculum Project. With more than 100 active participants from around the world, Schweik is leading an international effort of sharing "open content" educational material. The Project has released a searchable directory of open content materials and new materials are added regularly.[more]

Marquard Examines Willingness of Laypeople to Share Medical Information
STS was pleased to welcome Jenna Marquard, Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering, as its March colloquium speaker. Marquard presented research challenging current health information technology policy assumptions that laypeople want to make explicit choices about who can access personal medical information. Her research has found that laypeople generally cite clinical care benefits as the main reason for their choices and often remain unaware of the potential consequences of their actions. [more]

phineas Baxandall Discusses Transparency in Government
Dr. Phineas Baxandall, Senior Analyst for Tax and Budget Policy at U.S. PIRG, presented findings from his recent report, 2.0, Using the Internet for budget transparency to increase accountability, efficiency and taxpayer confidence, at the last STS Colloquium of the semester. Transparency 2.0 is a new standard of comprehensive, one-stop, one-click budget accountability and accessibility. A copy of Baxandall's report is available here.


Upcoming Events
jitp CFP: The Politics of Open Source
The Journal of Information Technology and Politics announces its second annual interdisciplinary JITP conference, "The Politics of Open Source." The conference will take place May 6-7, 2010 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A complete call for papers is available here.
science Nanotechnology and Society Workshop
The Science, Technology and Society Initiative will hold its 3rd annual Nanotechnology and Society Workshop on Friday, October 2, 2009 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Continue to check the STS website for program updates and registration information.

© 2009 the Science, Technology and Society Initiative,
at Center for Public Policy and Administration and
the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences | 413- 577-2354