Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Marking Third Year, Tech and Society Week Bridges Innovation, Ethics

Madison Fox-Moore | Georgetown University marked its third annual Tech and Society Week, a week-long series of events, workshops and panels designed to explore the nexus of technology and policy.

Georgetown University celebrated the intersection of technology and culture with a week of events from April 8 to 12.


Tech and Society Week exposes students of all disciplines to the work of the Tech and Society Initiative, which explores the interdisciplinary connection between tech, society and ethics at Georgetown. This year was the third annual edition of the week and featured a host of lectures, student research and mixers with faculty.


Maggie Little, co-chair of the Tech and Society Initiative at Georgetown, said the week is designed to commemorate Georgetown’s unique status as a leader in the emerging intersection of technology and the humanities.


“Tech and Society week celebrates Georgetown’s leadership – from world-class research centers to new educational opportunities for students – that focus on the intersection of tech, ethics, law, policy, and society,” Little wrote to The Hoya.


The week kicked off April 8 with Tech and Society Fest, where campus leaders joined to celebrate the work done by students, faculty and fellowships on campus in the field of tech and society. 


The week involves twenty events across a variety of disciplines, including computer science, government, philosophy, coding and ethics, among others. However, the ultimate goal of the week is to educate future leaders on the ever-changing field of technology policy.


Mac Milin Kiran (GRD ’24) said that with the multitude of resources available to students on technology, Tech and Society Week offers a time for students to delve into the diversity of avenues for studying technology policy.


“This is a great opportunity to engage with scholars and practitioners in different areas of tech & society. It helps that all the events are within a week so you don’t lose momentum,” Kiran wrote to The Hoya. “Embrace the diversity of thought and perspective you’ll encounter – it’s a rich ground for sparking new insights and ideas.”


In its exploration of technology policy, the Tech and Society Initiative is also joined by the Fritz Family Fellowship, a program that seeks to educate the next generation of public interest technologists, and the Knight-Georgetown Institute, which brings researchers and policymakers together to craft ethical tech policies.


Little said she hopes that students and teachers alike can learn from the week’s diverse range of events, speakers and workshops.


“I hope students, faculty, and staff will come away seeing the rich set of opportunities for studying and collaborating on one of the most important topics of our time,” Little wrote.


Georgetown has long demonstrated its commitment to exploring technology policy. 


In May 2023 the university collaborated with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which provides grants for journalism and the arts, to commit $30 million toward launching the Knight-Georgetown Institute, which seeks to unify research and policy in pursuit of ethical tech governance. 


Kiran said that he values the week as it offers a chance to explore events that echo what attracted him to Georgetown: the university’s status as a leader in technology policy.


“Georgetown truly has one of the best environments for those interested in tech policy. Each of the participating centers and institutes has regular events throughout the year that students can attend,” Kiran wrote. “Given my interest in tech policy, this is one of the most exciting weeks in Georgetown.”


Outside of this week’s events, Shannon Brick, assistant teaching professor of communication, culture and technology, said students of all disciplines should investigate the opportunities Georgetown offers to students interested in technology policy, specifically the new Tech, Ethics and Society (TES) minor established following a $5 million donation in 2022.


“TES offers a new interdisciplinary minor, open to all students at Georgetown, and a new major in Computer Science, Ethics & Society, as well as a CS concentration,” Brick wrote to The Hoya. “We’ll be putting on more events next semester too, that will be open to all students – not just those in the major and minor!”


Kiran said this week could work to kickstart students’ journeys into the field of technology policy.


“Whether it’s drafting a proposal for a new course that blends tech with your major, initiating a research project that examines the societal impacts of a specific technology, or even starting a dialogue within your department about integrating tech ethics into the curriculum – consider this week a seed for your intellectual growth,” Kiran wrote.

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