I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. Last term I taught a course called ‘Governing emerging technologies’ for UCL 3rd year undergraduates. It had 24 students, half from my own department, Science and Technology Studies, and half from other parts of UCL. As well as the usual essay, I asked them all to put together a course blog, in which they would explore issues to do with emerging technologies. We talked about case studies and literatures in class, but the idea with the blog was that the students would dig into their own examples. I asked the creators of the best ones if they would agree to have theirs aired publicly. In no particular order…
- Beilinda Li’s blog – http://signsandtechmology.wordpress.com/. Beilinda stylishly and brilliantly discusses issues such as transhumanism – from scientific, social science and artistic viewpoints, the demise of technologies and what that tells us about innovation, and the Unabomber’s trouble with technological optimism.
- Kane Shenton’s blog – http://kaneshenton.wordpress.com/. Kane takes, first, the implications for education of advances in computation; second, the unintended consequences of innovation in financial markets; and third, the debate about ‘technological unemployment’. All of these, as well as being academically fascinating, are also cutting-edge policy debates.
- Bella Eacott’s blog – http://bellaeacott.wordpress.com/. Bella’s focus is more on the ideas that might inform better governance of technology. She looks at the trouble with technological fixes, from artificial hearts to geoengineering; screening and over-diagnosis; and technological hype in biomedical research.
Huge congratulations to them all. Given that this course was brand new, I had no idea what to expect. But I was delighted by these three blogs. Needless to say, there were other highly-commended ones elsewhere in the class.