Wednesday, October 21
Patrusky Lecture: 2020 Vision: Reimagining the default settings of technology and society
Platform: Zoom webinar CASW New Horizons in Science
Wednesday, October 21
6:30 pm - 7:45 pm


  • Ruha Benjamin (Speaker) Associate professor of African American studies, Princeton University
  • Alan Boyle (Moderator) Contributing editor, GeekWire


From everyday apps to complex algorithms, technology has the potential to hide, speed, and deepen discrimination, while appearing neutral and even benevolent when compared to racist practices of a previous era. In this talk, Benjamin explores a range of discriminatory designs that encode inequity—what she terms the “New Jim Code.” This presentation takes us into the world of biased bots, altruistic algorithms, and their many entanglements, and provides conceptual tools to decode tech promises with historically and sociologically-informed skepticism. It will also consider how race itself is a kind of tool designed to stratify and sanctify social injustice and discuss how technology is and can be used toward liberatory ends. In doing so, Benjamin challenges us to question not only the technologies we are sold, but also the ones we manufacture ourselves.

Free e-book: Race After Technology
Ruha Benjamin's lecture will be based on her new book, Race After Technology. In support of her lecture and the hope of creating a more inclusive and equitable world through knowledge, science publisher Wiley is making 500 e-books freely available to ScienceWriters2020 attendees. Use this link to secure your free e-book today. Once free copies are gone, attendees can purchase the Race After Technology at a 30% discount. See these detailed instructions on downloading the e-book.

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