Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

News & Events

Feb 27, 2014

You can find recordings, helpfully indexed, of 2013-14 faculty workshops at www.youtube.com/PennDCC, including the opening event – "Healthcare as a Social Right," featuring Jack Geiger, Dorothy Roberts, and Jeffrey Goldhagen.

Sep 8, 2015

Sep 8, 2015

National Constitution Center / 525 Arch Street, F.M. Kirby Auditorium

Please register for this event here.

Co-sponsors: The National Constitution Center and the
Annenberg Center for Communication

GROUP DELIBERATION, THE ACT OF ARGUING ABOUT and chewing over the best options for addressing collective challenges, plays a vital role in any functioning democracy. The commonly held belief – and longstanding hope – is that deliberation helps a diverse citizenry work toward consensus, if not always around the ideas most worthy on their merit, at least around compromise positions that enable cooperation. Sunstein argues, however, that the opposite outcome results when like-minded citizens deliberate among themselves. In this case, rather than converging toward the middle, the opinions of individuals within the group move toward a more extreme point in the direction of their prior like-mindedness. Group polarization, in other words, breeds extremism. To the extent that people can shield themselves from those who hold differing opinions, as they increasingly can in the ideological echo-chambers of the Internet and social media, this presents a challenge to an open and heterogeneous democracy. Sunstein will explore the implications of this for the practice of free speech and the viability of American politics.
Sep 17, 2015

Silverstein Forum, Stiteler Hall First Floor (Accessibility)

THE INTERNET OF THINGS, MADE UP OF BILLIONS of devices with small sensors, will contain our political lives, communicate our political values, and constitute our political identities. It will generate perfect behavioral data without allowing citizens to opt-out of data collection. Already visible in consumer technologies, the internet of things is unlikely to be stopped, and it is unlikely that national services, technology firms, and political lobbyists can be cut out of the rich data flows it will generate. However, there are several ways of preserving a role for citizens and civil society groups in a political system defined by its information infrastructure.
Oct 15, 2015

Silverstein Forum, Stiteler Hall First Floor (Accessibility)

WHAT IS THE REAL POTENTIAL FOR ONLINE YOUTH ACTIVISM in the US? Professor Earl approaches the question from two directions. How interested are youth in engaging in online political activity (what is the “demand” for this activity)? And what kinds of opportunities are youth afforded to engage online (what is the “supply” of opportunities to engage in such activity)? In order to understand demand, she uses survey data from a random sample of teenagers and young adults to understand what kinds of activities are particularly attractive to different youth sub-groups (e.g., compares participation across race and ethnicity). Then, she uses data on random samples of websites on 20 different social movement issue areas to understand how and how often youth are specifically targeted for non-institutional engagement by social movements.
Nov 12, 2015

Silverstein Forum, Stiteler Hall First Floor (Accessibility)

IMAGINE IF GOVERNMENT COULD QUICKLY GET ADVICE from infectious disease experts in the event of a pandemic, or find and reach out to cyber-security professionals following an infrastructure attack, or pose questions about our public challenges to data scientists. From combatting terrorism to safeguarding the future of the planet, society will confront unprecedented challenges over the next decades. To succeed, Noveck argues, we have to run our institutions differently. Getting ideas from outside – often called crowdsourcing or open innovation – should be just as vital for the improvement of public institutions as it has been for success in commerce and science. Data science tools hold the potential to transform how we govern by making it possible to solve hard problems through the diverse and distributed expertise of the many citizens who would be willing to contribute their talents, skills, expertise and enthusiasm to the public good.
Dec 10, 2015

Silverstein Forum, Stiteler Hall First Floor (Accessibility)

IN THE AFTERMATH OF A SPATE OF POLICE KILLINGS THAT BEGAN with the June 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, an issue emerged as a newly apparent “matter of concern”: the alarming number of killings of unarmed people by the police, of course, but also the glaring absence of data on those killings. Professor Gates analyzes the absence of data on police killings from the combined perspectives of digital media studies and science and technology studies, considering what this absence reveals about the promise and problems of data analytics for democratic governance.
Jan 21, 2016

Silverstein Forum, Stiteler Hall First Floor (Accessibility)

YOCHAI BENKLER is the Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Since the 1990s he has played a role in characterizing the role of information commons and decentralized collaboration to innovation, information production, and freedom in the networked economy and society.

Feb 18, 2016

Silverstein Forum, Stiteler Hall First Floor (Accessibility)

HELEN NISSENBAUM is Professor of Media, Culture and Communication, and Computer Science at New York University, where she is also Director of the Information Law Institute. Her work spans social, ethical, and political dimensions of information technology and digital media. She has written and edited eight books, including Privacy, Big Data and the Public Good: Frameworks for Engagement, with J. Lane, V. Stodden and S.

Mar 17, 2016

Silverstein Forum, Stiteler Hall First Floor (Accessibility)

DEEN FREELON is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at American University in Washington, DC. His primary research interests lie in the changing relationships between technology and politics, and encompass the study of weblogs, online forums, social media, and other forms of interactive media with political applications. His papers have ranged from Twitter analysis relating to the Arab Spring to research on youth and media.