Berkman Klein Center announces 2017–2018 community

Okediji, Tushnet also set to join Center's Board of Directors

Berkman Klein 2017-2018 community

Credit: Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University today announced the incoming and returning fellows, faculty associates, affiliates, and directors who together will form the core of the Center’s networked community in the 2017-2018 academic year.

The community contributes to the Center’s mission of addressing issues at the intersection of technology and society, with a focus on the design and use of digital technologies for the social good. To name just a few examples, research foci include the use of algorithms in criminal justice; the way digital, political, and institutional forces influence popular concepts of race and gender; how digital technologies can be better deployed to confront public health emergencies; and how trauma and grief are expressed on social media in the context of urban violent crime. Members of the Center’s community pursue a wide range of research methods, networking efforts, and educational activities, as well as coding, prototyping, and building.

“This exceptional group reflects our broad reach and core focus on exploring important Internet issues in a global, intersectional context,” says the Center’s Executive Director and Professor of Practice Urs Gasser. “To bring such talented, inquisitive, and creative minds together in the pursuit of dialogue across disciplines, regions, and backgrounds, and to see their collaborations converted into new understandings, research, and tools in the service of the public interest is a true privilege.”

The coming academic year will include increased joint efforts with MIT to explore the ethics and governance of artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies, an extension of core questions that have long motivated the Berkman Klein Center’s research.  “We live in a world of tightly coupled and rapidly evolving autonomous systems that advise us or act without any advice at all,” says Berkman Klein Center co-founder Jonathan Zittrain, George Bemis Professor of International Law and professor of computer science at Harvard University. “Thinking through how these global systems affect us, and how they might be deployed in the spirit of the public interest while, like the Internet, largely in private hands, draws upon and calls us to new work across many people in the humanities, engineering, law, and social science — and industry.”

The class of fellows will primarily work in Cambridge, Massachusetts, alongside Berkman Klein faculty, students, and staff, as a vibrant community of research and practice.

Honoring the networked ethos at the heart of the Center, faculty associates and affiliates from institutions the world over will actively participate as well. These relationships, as well as the countless fruitful engagements with alumni, partners, interns, and other colleagues, are fundamental to the Berkman Klein Center’s work and identity, and serve to increase the capacity of the field and generate opportunities for lasting impact.

The Berkman Klein fellowship program aims to “create a protocol, a culture, a spirit that puts the emphasis on being open, being kind, being good listeners, being engaged, being willing to learn from one another.” We are excited to start this next year together with the following people who will continue our work as a community in this light.

Joining the community in 2017-2018 as Berkman Klein fellows:
Doaa Abu-Elyounes is an S.J.D. candidate at Harvard Law School, where she researches the effect of artificial intelligence algorithms on the criminal justice system. She will focus on algorithmic accountability and governance of AI in criminal justice. website

Pritha Chatterjee is a public health journalist and a recent graduate of the Masters in Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She will work at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on health communication as a route to trigger behavioral change in public health policy. website twitter

Joanne K. Cheung, an artist and designer studying at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, will focus her research at the Berkman Klein Center on building better civic spaces. She seeks to examine the features of places that support public assembly, how these spaces are used and regulated, and how we can design civic spaces where everyone realizes a gain by participating. website twitter

Emily Dreyfuss, a journalist at Wired, will study how the Internet and social media change the way culture is formed and history is written, and the role journalism should play in verifying and creating that record. Emily is the 2017-2018 Nieman-Berkman Klein Fellow in Journalism Innovationwebsite twitter

Jenn Halen is a political scientist and a former National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow whose research broadly focuses on the ways that new and emerging technologies influence, and are influenced by, politics. She will study the complex social and political implications of advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence, especially as it relates to issues of governance. website twitter

Chien-Kuan Ho is a prosecutor in the Taichung District Prosecutors Office of the Ministry of Justice in Taiwan. He will research the guidance for prosecutors regarding discovery practices in criminal cases, and how to gather evidence in the digital world.

Nathan Kaiser, a lawyer practicing with the firm Eiger in Greater China, has a keen interest in the convergence and friction between technology and law, as well as politics. Among others, he will examine artificial intelligence, data protection, and blockchain efforts, from an Asian and Chinese legal perspective. website twitter

Emad Khazraee is a sociotechnical information scientist and an Assistant Professor in the school of information at Kent State University. While at the Berkman Klein Center, he will work on his book project on the evolution of digital repertoires of collective action, and he will continue to study the relationship between digital technologies, new media, and social change. website twitter

Jenny Korn is an activist of color for social justice and scholar of race, gender, and media with academic training in communication, sociology, theater, public policy, and gender studies from Princeton, Harvard, Northwestern, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. She will examine identity and representation through online and in-person discourses, focusing on how popular concepts of race and gender are influenced by digital interactions, political protest, and institutional kyriarchy. website twitter

Yvonne MacPherson is the U.S. Director of BBC Media Action. At the Berkman Klein Center, she will examine a host of digital solutions used to respond to global health emergencies and focus on understanding the impact these solutions have on human behavior and social norms. twitter

Mary Minow is a lawyer, librarian, and current consultant to the American Library Association on Fake News. She plans to work on a library-based approach to help users of social media identify and check out questionable news content. twitter

Sunoo Park is a Ph.D. candidate in computer science (cryptography) at MIT. She is interested in privacy (in all its polysemous glory) and in understanding the ways that hiding information can influence the incentives and behavior of participants in systems. website

Desmond Patton is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Columbia University and Director of the SAFElab. While at the Berkman Klein Center, he will write manuscripts that examine the link between social media communication, grief, trauma, and gang violence among youth in Chicago. website twitter

Kathy Pham is a high-energy computer scientist and cancer patient sidekick, most recently on the founding product and engineering team of the United States Digital Service, and on the advisory boards of the Anita Borg Institute and the “Make the Breast Pump Not Suck” research effort. She will explore artificial intelligence with an emphasis on healthcare. website twitter

Keith Porcaro is the CTO / General Counsel at SIMLab, and Principal at Digital Public. He will research legal structures for governing digital assets, and continue his work building and studying participation in complex systems. website twitter

Jie Qi is co-founder of Chibitronics, which produces friendly toolkits that blend electronics and programming with paper craft. She will explore open license approaches to invention, manufacturing, and entrepreneurship. website twitter

Suchana Seth, a data scientist, will continue her work on operationalizing ethical machine learning and artificial intelligence in the industry. website twitter

Luke Stark, a Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology at Dartmouth College, will unpack the connections between the design of digital interfaces and personal privacy preferences in an era of social media increasingly focused on emotional expression and analysis. website twitter

Soroush Vosoughi is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Laboratory for Social Machines at MIT, having received his Ph.D. from the same lab. His background is in machine learning, natural language processing, and network science, and he will focus his research on the spread of false information on social networks. website twitter

j. Wahutu is a Sociology Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and is affiliated with the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at UMN. While at the Berkman Klein Center, he will work on revising his dissertation among other projects related at the intersection of surveillance, sovereignty, and media representations of genocide and mass atrocity in Africa. twitter

Joining the Berkman Klein Center’s Board of Directors, as previously announced:

Professor Ruth Okediji, who was the Heiken Visiting Professor in Patent Law at Harvard Law School in 2015-2016, is an expert in innovation policy, intellectual property, and economic development in the context of international institutions and public international law. Her scholarship has influenced intellectual property law and policies throughout Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas. She also serves on the boards of Creative Commons and IP-Watch.

Professor Margo Seltzer is an accomplished computer scientist and software entrepreneur, was co-founder and CTO of Sleepycat Software, the makers of Berkeley DB, and is an Architect for Oracle Corporation. Among her many professional affiliations, Professor Seltzer serves on the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academies. She has long been a Berkman Klein Center collaborator and in addition to her Directorship will spend the 2017-2018 academic year as a Faculty Fellow on sabbatical at the Center.

Professor Rebecca Tushnet is a leading First Amendment scholar who focuses on copyright, trademark, and false advertising law. In her spare time she is a member of the legal team of the Organization for Transformative Works, which advocates for the rights of remixers and makers of fanworks.

For information on all new and returning faculty associates, affiliates, advisory board members and directors, visit the Berkman Klein Center website.