Social scientists are being told to “communicate better” in order to justify public funding and to earn the confidence of the public. Seems reasonable, until we begin to ask: what, specifically, is it we are supposed to communicate, and to whom. Complicating matters is the injunction to have impact, often with the added suggestion that we measure our impact, the better to justify our claim on public funds. Flexner’s phrase “the usefulness of useless knowledge” has long been beneficial to the natural sciences when they are called on to justify pubic funds or when they want to communicate their value to society. However, we argue that it has not and is not well-positioned to work similarly for the social sciences. It is not clear what Plan B is, but the goal of this workshop is to start creating that Plan B.
This is the second workshop in a partnership between CASBS and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Knight Foundation is currently seeking to support explorations of technology across all aspects of grant-making: journalism, communities and the arts.
Discussions centered around key technology developments and trends that could have a significant impact. Participants responded to and critiqued Knight Foundation’s technology-oriented strategies and provided input to shape the potential future directions of the Knight Foundation’s work.
This convocation combines the 2016, 2017 and 2018 classes of the CASBS summer institute on Organizations and Their Effectiveness. Two speakers joined us from the Stanford organizations community. Five former summer scholars presented early-stage work in progress.
We live in the most prosperous era in human history, but too small a fraction of the population enjoys a fair share. Many lack adequate material foundations of a meaningful life. Our shared environment deteriorates on our watch. As the bases of social cohesion disintegrate, action for the common good becomes increasingly difficult. The Moral Political Economy project at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences seeks to generate a new moral political economic framework that builds on a model of a social human to design a government that is responsive to what people need and innovative in meeting those needs, and to revise our understanding of the limits and potential of markets.
The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advances in Robotics and other technologies take us to the verge of one of the most significant technological transformations in human history – with vast implications for the economy, politics, and social structure. Nowhere are these considerations more important than in the field of healthcare. This workshop focuses on a critical area: home-based care for older people. A variety of new technologies are already supporting older people to age in place; many more are under development. While machine-enhanced patient care holds tremendous potential for enabling patients to stay in their homes longer and to reduce the burgeoning costs of healthcare and long term care, its positive impact depends on proactively and preemptively building solutions that address the needs, experiences, and reality of all the humans involved. In this workshop, we bring together older people, their caregivers, and scientists from a variety of backgrounds to explore these areas in detail.
With the introduction of the Data Care Act of 2018, information fiduciaries are moving from the realm of abstract proposal to concrete legislation. We expect that the bill will be reintroduced in 2019 with the intention of genuinely pushing it into law. The Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative is hosting this workshop to accomplish three main objectives: catch up the core working group of law professors working on information fiduciary legislation on the progress of the legislation, and discuss next steps; iron out some looming details on the “ideal case” for information fiduciary legislation; and assess the willingness of major technology platforms to back the idea of information fiduciaries going forwards.
The premise of this workshop is that for both intellectual and policy reasons it is important to understand the sources of climate policies – in the preferences of individuals; among national states and among sub-state entities such as provinces or cities; among firms; and among social groups. Specifically, under what conditions will these agents devote more effort to responding effectively to anthropogenic climate change? What policy networks are emerging? What political strategies will these agents follow to achieve their objectives? Under what conditions will they favor policies that are more or less centralized; that depend more or less on direct regulation or policies that rely on markets; that depend more or less on coercion or on changing or reinforcing social norms? This working group, composed mostly of leading young political scientists, is designed to generate new ideas, to critique participants’ research designs, and provide the basis for extensive collaborative work on this subject. The ultimate objective is to enrich an incipient social science field: the comparative politics of climate change policy.
With the principal aim of guiding foundations in their use of historical models in political economy programs, this two-day workshop will bring together a small group of distinguished scholars and philanthropists. Two related questions will frame the workshop’s agenda: Was the conservative movement really, as Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer suggests, the “single most successful example of effective philanthropy” at least in “the realm of advocacy and policy-oriented philanthropy”? Can other examples of effective philanthropy, such as those rooted in the genesis of welfare states and interwar internationalist initiatives, inspire alternative models and means for new intellectual paradigms in political economy?
The third workshop dedicated to the development of “Digital Technology and Democratic Theory,” a volume edited by Hélène Landemore, Rob Reich, and Lucy Bernholz. Contributors edited complete chapter drafts.
This workshop focused on establishing protocols for conducting ethical research that affects communities and vulnerable populations. We discussed how power dynamics with participants affect researchers’ ability to obtain informed consent, how researchers’ implicit bias might influence the research project, and how to evaluate community impact as opposed to the individual impact IRBs address. The aim is to produce a document that summarizes the consensus conclusions of this conversation.
This workshop is a partnership between CASBS and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Knight Foundation is currently seeking to support explorations of technology across all aspects of grant-making: journalism, communities and the arts.
Discussions will center around key technology developments and trends that could have a significant impact. Participants will respond to and critique Knight Foundation’s technology-oriented strategies and provide input to shape the potential future directions of the Knight Foundation’s work.
We are on the verge of one of the most significant technological transformations in human history. Automation, artificial intelligence, digitalization, and technological change are already affecting the transformation of job opportunities, the skills required for future work, the costs of healthcare and education, urban development and infrastructure, social life, news, elections, and many other aspects of governance. Technology is also shaping how humans interact with one another. This meeting purports to think through the assumptions of current economic models that technology challenges, and to reflect on the role of government and other organizations in harnessing technology for the well-being of society.
This workshop brought together computer scientists, engineers, and social scientists from OpenAI and Stanford University. The workshop aimed at building a shared understanding of the language and concepts used by policy-oriented social scientists and AI developers; providing knowledge perspectives that could be incorporated into OpenAI projects; and identifying areas for more focused collaboration around specific issues, including forecasting, institutional design, and AI training.