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Tech on Tap: Humanity and Technology

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Category: research Video duration: Tech on Tap: Humanity and Technology

Researchers in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences led the latest event in the Virginia Tech Tech on Tap series at Port City Brewing in Alexandria on April 4.

Members of the Virginia Tech and Northern Virginia community attended the event, titled Tech on Tap: Humanity and Technology.

Launched in 2019, Tech on Tap is a Northern Virginia-based community speaker series that informs, educates, and raises questions about the impact of new technologies on society, equity, and policy.

The panel included:

  • Carlos Evia, professor of communication and associate dean for transdisciplinary initiatives
  • Sylvester Johnson, provost for the humanities, executive director of the Tech for Humanity initiative, and founding director of the Center for Humanities
  • Rishi Jaitly, distinguished humanities fellow and leader of the Digital Transformations and Scientific Collaboration area in The Academy of Transdisciplinary Studies
  • Shalini Misra, D.C. Metro Area based faculty with the School of Public and International Affairs, who has been developing content for the new Tech for Humanity Pathways minor
Video produced by Andrew Adkins
What we cannot say is, you know what, forget about all that humanities and all that other stuff, Just focus on math and science and tech and you don't need to do anything else. We need to correct for that. We need to invest in the future of talent. And that future of talent has to be comprehensive. The public role of knowledge and actually the public knowledge as its own phenomenon is only possible if we are academic institutions that are engaging with having conversations with immersed in communities beyond the walls of our classrooms or our campuses. So we're at a brewery, we're at a neighborhood institution, a local business, not sitting in the middle of a campus. I am what is called an environmental and social psychologist. And my research focuses on understanding how people interact with technologies. Why is this topic so interesting to people? It's because technology has engulfed our lives. Sometimes we have brought in these wonderful, bedazzling gadgets into our lives and we have not fully appreciated some of the unintended consequences. If we can come together in a place like this, then we're able to have more inputs. We get to engage with different audiences. And that is absolutely essential to making sure that the public knows about and cares about the kind of work that we're trying to advance at the university.