Past Research Projects

The Cloud and the Crowd

This Center project explores the histories, contemporary forms, and conceptual and political implications of “cloud” and “crowd.” Crowd-sourcing, cloud computing, social media, and the rise of Big Data are implicated in powerful transformations in the fabric of our economic, social, and technical worlds. These shifts range from new modes of visualizing ecological change to the reconfiguration of disaster relief; from collaborative platforms for innovation to the radical dispersal of labor; and from new senses of political possibility to enhanced modes of crowd control.

This interdisciplinary project creates a platform for critical, collective reflection on the rise of the cloud and the return of the crowd in different ways across the globe.

Nuclear Engineering & Society

Over the last several years, researchers from the Nuclear Engineering Department of University of California, Berkeley (UCBNE) and the Global COE Program “Nuclear Education and Research Initiative” (GoNERI) of the University of Tokyo have developed an advanced educational program to cultivate leading nuclear engineers who can productively interact with other stakeholders.  They have held several summer schools, symposia, and workshops designed to provide students with an awareness of social science perspectives and the capability to put them to work in improving society’s ability to make difficult and long-term decisions about nuclear technology.

Epistemic Jurisdiction in Biofuels and Geoengineering

This multiyear study (2014-2016) focuses on the politics of science in complex regulatory regimes. Grounded in the fields of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and law, this project aims to conduct a comparative study of the role of science and expertise in the global regulation of biofuels and geoengineering. The goals of this project are to (a) produce generalizable knowledge about how science operates within complex (multi-level and multi-sector) regulatory architectures for emerging technologies and (b) help conceptualize and evaluate the legitimacy of regulatory science within these evolving regimes.

Nuclear Futures

Ways of projecting and shaping futures are at the heart of contemporary talk of a coming “nuclear renaissance.” This Special Project brings into conversation leading figures from humanistic and social-scientific study of science and technology with colleagues from science and engineering and from policy and advocacy groups. It spotlights the analytical tools used in this domain, ranging from performance assessment (nuclear engineering) to surveys (sociology) to studies of nuclear imaginaries (cultural studies of science).

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