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Navigating a  Technologically Infused Society

  • Tuesday, October 9, 2018
  • 3:30 PM–4:30 PM
  • Science Building 010

Al Erisman, research scientist

While some of us are engaged in building new technology devices and systems, all of us are affected by technology. Technology enters our personal lives, our organizational lives, and it shapes our society. Some argue it goes further than this, taking over each of these arenas. The societal impacts may be the most subtle, introducing the challenges of joblessness, polarization on key societal issues, and engagement in public life. Response to these issues comes in two ways.  Some will embrace the changes and ignore the impacts, breathlessly living into each change.  Some will seek to block the changes, dourly speaking out against the “technopoly,” as if they could stop it. Each of these challenges, however, reflects back on the technology builder.  Are there other considerations in our designs that would be helpful? In this talk I will show the link between technology and these societal issues and suggest another path for responding to them. The response is rooted in the understanding of how we are made by God.  

Al Erisman received a PhD in applied mathematics in 1969, followed by a 32 year career as a research scientist and technology leader at The Boeing Company. During his time at Boeing, Al served on numerous outside committees including review committee at Los Alamos, Carnegie Mellon University, along with NSF and National Academy committees on mathematics and technology.  He co-founded Ethix magazine (, focusing on the impact of leadership in a world of technology. He is currently working on a book, Tech Means, Human Ends, with technology critic David Gill.

Sponsored by:  Computer Science and Mathematics & Statistics departments

October 2018
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