Back to CPSR/Pittsburgh home

Carnegie Mellon
University Lecture Series

Strings Attached?
Academic Freedom and Career Realities

Tuesday, September 10, 4:30 - 6:00
University Center Rangos I

Our society relies on technical experts to point out problems with new technologies and related public policy. As academics, we value our right to speak freely. But how do we retain our objectivity in the face of legal threats or pressure from our sponsors? Can we take the high road without sacrificing our careers as researchers? Please join us for this CPSR Distinguished Panel Discussion.

Theodore Postol is professor of Science, Technology and National Security Policy in the program of Science, Technology and Society at MIT. After receiving his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from MIT, Dr. Postol worked at Argonne National Laboratory. Subsequently, he went to the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment to study methods of basing the MX Missile, and later he worked as a scientific advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations. After leaving the Pentagon, Dr. Postol helped build a program at Stanford to train scientists to study developments in weapons technology. Among many other awards, Dr. Postol recently received the Norbert Wiener Award from Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility for uncovering false claims about missile defenses.
David Farber is a visiting professor in the School of Computer Science and in the Heinz School of Public Policy. Professor Farber's career has been focused on the understanding of and development of telecommunications systems. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society (ISOC) and the Board of Directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In addition, he is a member of the Advisory Board for the Center for Democracy and Technology, and has served more than 10 years on the NRC's Computer Science and Telecommunications Board. This semester he will be teaching a course in the SCS titled "Digital Rights Management: Technology, Policy and Societal Issues."
Indira Nair (moderator) is Professor of Engineering and Public Policy and Vice Provost for Education at CMU. She was educated as a physicist and taught high school physics for several years. At CMU, she has designed and taught interdisciplinary courses including, "Science and Technology for the Environment", "Radiation, Health and Policy" and "Science, Technology and Ethics", and is currently co-teaching a seminar on "Global Responsibility". Central to her work is enabling students to reflect on ethics and the long-term consequences of their career decisions. She has been the advisor for the CMU chapter of Student Pugwash since its founding in 1987.

Sponsored by CPSR/Pittsburgh and CMU Student Pugwash