April  2022
Message from the Editor
Heather Love, Editor, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) Newsletter

Dear SSIT Members,

As March draws to a close, spring is attempting to show its face here in southern Ontario (which means that days with snowdrops and crocuses peeking up through the ground are alternating with days of freezing rain and snow flurries). I hope that the change of the seasons comes as a welcome event to everyone reading this newsletter, regardless of your hemisphere- and climate-of-residence.


This month’s newsletter includes the important update that SSIT’s flagship conference, ISTAS-2022: Digital and Societal Transformations, will run as a fully virtual event; I hope that you will all be able to attend! In addition, read on to find out about how you can catch some of the ISTAS21/ETHICS-2021 conference sessions you might have missed by visiting ieee.tv, check out some upcoming awards ceremonies, contribute to some in-the-works special issues on socio-technical themes, and more.

As always, I invite submissions from SSIT members for inclusion in future newsletters. Announcements for and reports on local chapter meetings, events, or outreach activities are always welcome; in addition, I’d love to hear about upcoming events, webinars, and conferences that might be of interest to SSIT members.

To announce an event, news item, volunteer opportunity, CFP, award notice, or other item, please contact me at [email protected]. Submissions for each newsletter are due by the first week of the month.

Best wishes to you all.

Heather Love

SSIT Announcements
ISTAS-2022 Goes Fully Virtual

The organizing committee for this year’s flagship SSIT conference has announced that the 2022 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS-2022) will take place as a fully virtual event.

ISTAS-2022 will run from 10-12 November on the theme "Digital and Societal Transformations." The Hong-Kong-based organizing committee invites all SSIT members to submit their work for presentation at the conference.

Details about topics of interest, submission guidelines, and key dates are available in the Call for Papers.
ETHICS-2021 and ISTAS21-TechEthics Sessions available on IEEE.tv
Good news for all SSIT members who missed out on the ISTAS21/ETHICS-2021 conference last October: session recordings are making their way to IEEE.tv! We are pleased to announce that the following sessions are now available for public viewing, and that additional ISTAS21 Special Session recordings are coming soon.

ETHICS-2021 Keynote: Top of Mind Ethics

Will Griffin (Hypergiant) presented "Top of the Mind Ethics (TOME)" as a keynote presentation during ETHICS 2021 on 28 October 2021. Top of Mind Ethics is a heuristic that helps engineers, designers, product managers — anyone involved in the solution process—integrate ethics into their workflows. Session Moderator: Greg Adamson, University of Melbourne

Click HERE to watch.

ETHICS-2021 Special Session: Wellbeing and Ethically Aligned Design

While avoidance of harm is critical for engineering and systems design, the recent focus on risk classification regarding Artificial Intelligence from the European Union has the policy and corporate worlds primarily focused on what shouldn't happen for society, versus what needs to happen to create our most purpose-driven, positive future. This panel, in response, focuses on the concept of “Wellbeing and Ethically Aligned Design” and features the following speakers:

  • Bogdana Rakova, Data Scientist, Responsible AI, Accenture
  • Sarah Spiekermann, Chair of the WU Institute for IS & Society, IEEE 7000 Vice-chair (2016-2021), Vienna University of Economics and Business
  • Deborah Hagar, MBA, President: The Foundation for Sustainable Communities, University of LaVerne
  • Melodena Stephens, Professor of Innovation Management, Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government

Session Organizer and Moderator: John Havens, Director, Emerging Technologies & Strategic Development, IEEE Standards Association

Click HERE for more information about the speakers and their comments and to watch the recording.

ETHICS-2021 Special Session: “Author Meets the Critics” with Jessica Smith (Extracting Accountability: Engineers and Corporate Social Responsibility)

This Author-Meets-Critics panel featured Sean Field, Angela Bielefeldt, and Elaine Englehardt as critics and respondents to Jessica Smith's new book, Extracting Accountability: Engineers and Corporate Social Responsibility. The book investigates how the public accountability of corporations emerges from the everyday practices of the engineers who work for them. Specifically, Smith explores the role of engineers in the mining, oil, and gas industries, focusing on how they attempt to balance their professional obligations and their responsibilities to the public. Session Moderator: John Impagliazzo, Hofstra University.

Click HERE for more information about the speakers and their comments and to watch the recording.

ETHICS-2021 Special Session: The Role of Ethics Officers and Organizational Ethics Programs

This panel on the roles and challenges of Ethics Officers features the following panelists:

  • Anne R. Harris, Owner and Principal of Ethics Works LLC
  • Chitra Barth-Radhakishun, expert in ethics with over 30 years of experience in the United Nations system
  • Edward C. Carr, Head of Compliance with Siemens Digital Industries Software (a Siemens AG business)
  • Gretchen A. Winter, J.D., Executive Director of the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society

Session Moderator: Greg Adamson, University of Melbourne

Click HERE for more information about the speakers and their comments and to watch the recording.

TechEthics Webinar on “Responsible Innovation via. Technological Stewardship” 

Run on 5 October 2021 as part of IEEE Day 2021 celebrations and during the lead-up to the ISTAS21/ETHICS-2021 conference, this webinar features TechEthics director Mark A. Vasquez in conversation with ISTAS21 presenter Seda Gürses and ETHICS-2021 presenter Melodena Stephens about “how technology professionals can ensure that technology development and deployment have the best possible positive impact.”

Click HERE to read more about the presenters and watch the recording.

Invitation to attend Constellation Prize award ceremony (8 April 2022)

IEEE SSIT members are invited to attend the award ceremony to celebrate the second cohort of winners of the Constellation Prize. It will be held virtually on Friday, 8 April 2022 at 10 am PT/1 pm ET as a one-hour (maximum) webinar. Click here to register.


The Constellation Prize seeks to reimagine engineering what engineering is for by celebrating engineers and their collaborators whose work embodies the ideals of environmental protection, social justice, human rights, and peace. By bringing to light the generative work of engineers and collaborations pushing the boundaries of their disciplines, this prize illuminates how engineering can be done to encourage new modes of engagement, research, development, and design.


The second cohort of winners are being awarded for their inspiring achievements focused on urban rejuvenation, financial literacy and equity, energy transitions and industrial transformation, and engineering philosophy and education.

Employment Opportunity: “Engineering and Society” Department Chair at UVA

Submitted by Joe Herkert

The University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Science seeks applications for the position of Department Chair and professor of Engineering and Society. The Chair will be expected to advance the quality of the Engineering and Society Department’s research and educational programs. The Chair, through effective leadership, is responsible for guiding the Department’s vision and building consensus among the Department’s faculty and staff. The Chair will assist in recruiting, developing, and supporting faculty. Demonstrable management, administrative, and outreach experience are required, as well as a track record of excellent research and teaching.

The Department seeks a leader whose research and teaching interests align with the one or more of the following areas: 

  • engineering ethics and values,
  • knowledge integration (i.e., interdisciplinarity across science and engineering and the humanities and social sciences); and
  • sociotechnical design and innovation practices.

A candidate with a research portfolio that contributes to the theories and practice of social justice, sustainability, and / or data ethics is preferred, especially insofar as their analysis pertains to engineering. In this way, the Chair will enhance and raise to prominence the diverse research activities of the faculty.

Full details of the position, applicant requirements, and application procedures are available HERE.
ICRA 2022 Roboethics Competition -- Call for Participation

Submitted by Ajung Moon


Are you interested in designing robots with ethics in mind? Join the 2022 ICRA Roboethics Competition to contribute to the frontier of robot ethics research and for a chance to win cash prizes! You don’t need to know how to code to participate.


Why is this important?

It’s hard to design robots to do the “right thing” when that “right thing” may change from one context to the next. For example, if a child asks a robot to fetch his/her parent's credit card, what should the robot be programmed to do? This competition will challenge you to think about ethics as concrete design considerations that can be implemented as interactive robot behaviours.


How do I participate?

Mid-April, we will be launching a scenario involving a robot that must be programmed to interact with people while considering possible ethical challenges. You will have a month to deliver a design proposal (no code/programming needed) that will be used by those with technical skills to try and implement in the form of a hackathon. The hackathon will take place in a hybrid format on 25 May.



A total of approx. US$800 cash prizes are available. The final award amount will be announced on our website.


For more information, please visit our website https://competition.raiselab.ca/ If you are interested in participating please fill out the expression of interest form. For any questions, please contact us at [email protected].

IEEE Technology & Society Magazine (TSM)

The March 2022 issue of IEEE Technology & Society Magazine, “Decolonizing Technology,” hit member inboxes this past month. Hopefully you’ve had some time to browse the articles. We invite SSIT members to spread the word about the issue’s free online content, which includes:

IEEE TSM is SSIT’s award-winning flagship publication. It features peer-reviewed and general interest articles that explore and analyze the profound impacts of technology on our world.

Find out more about the publication’s scope, topics, and article submission guidelines here, and visit the IEEE TSM section of the SSIT website to read about current and past issues.

IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society
The IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society publishes four issues each year (March, June, September, and December); submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

The editorial team seeks research papers on the interactions among technology, science, and society; on the impact of such interactions on individuals and society; and on the ethical, professional and social responsibility in the practice of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Find out more about the publication’s scope, topics, and article submission guidelines here, and be sure to visit the Transactions section of the SSIT website to read about current and past issues.

For expressions of interest to serve on the editorial board as an ongoing reviewer or associate editor, or for other inquiries please email founding editor-in-chief Katina Michael.
IEEE Computer Special Issue CFP

Submitted by Sambit Bakshi

The IEEE Computer magazine is hosting a special issue on the theme “Five Decades of Biometrics and Video Surveillance: Present Technologies and Future Possibilities,” with a target August 2023 publication date. IEEE SSIT members are invited to submit work for consideration.

See the full Call for Paper HERE. Author guidelines (page/word limits, etc.) are available HERE.

Submissions are due by 19 December 2022.

Guest Editors:

Sambit Bakshi, NIT Rourkela, India

Irena Bojanova, NIST, USA
Vitomir Štruc, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
George K. Thiruvathukal, Loyola University Chicago, USA
Maria De Marsico, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy

Please contact [email protected] with questions.
IEEE SUSTECH 2022: Registration Open!

Riverside, CA (Virtual Event)
  | 21-23 April 2022

Registration for SusTech 2022: How Emerging Technologies are Driving Sustainability is now open. SusTech 2022 will be virtual from sunny Riverside, CA.

SusTech 2022 will be held from Thursday, 21 April through Saturday 23 April 2022. The event will feature a full program of plenary sessions (keynotes and panels) and papers on 21-22 April, a student poster contest, and a one-day Sustainability Forum on 23 April. The program overview can be found here.

For Authors, Early-Bird Registration goes until 11:59 pm PST on 30 January 2022. All authors must register at the author rate.

For Attendees, Early-Bird Registration ends 11:59 pm PST on 30 March 2022. We have reduced early attendee rates for IEEE Members to US$50, for IEEE Student/Life Members to US$25, and to US$75 for non-members. (Attendee proceedings available for US$50)

IEEE SSIT is a technical co-sponsor of SusTech 2022.
IEEE ISTAS22: Digital and Societal Transformations
Hong Kong (Virtual Event)
  | 10-12 November 2022

SSIT’s 2022 flagship conference, the IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS) will take place from 10-12 November in Hong Kong, on the theme “Digital and Societal Transformations.” ISTAS22 will run as a fully virtual event.

The Call for Papers is available at
https://www.istas22.org/call-for-papers/. Note that full-paper submissions (for peer review) are due by 30 April 2022.

Visit https://www.istas22.org/ to see the latest updates about the event!

Ongoing Calls
Call for Expressions of Interest to Host SSIT Conferences
IEEE SSIT organizes, co-organizes, and sponsors conferences focused on technology, society and ethics. IEEE SSIT is seeking expressions of interest from SSIT members interested in hosting the following conferences around the world.

IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS)
IEEE ISTAS is the annual flagship event of the IEEE Society on the Social Implications of Technology (SSIT). It is organized each year by SSIT in cooperation with SSIT Chapters and IEEE Sections. IEEE ISTAS brings together a broad range of disciplines (e.g., natural and social sciences, policy, ethics and education) to share research and experiences about the implications of technology adoption, adaptation and evolution.

SSIT is looking toward future ISTAS two to four years from now to allow planning and continuity between annual events. We are issuing a call for proposals for volunteers as organizers of ISTAS in 2023, 2024, and beyond.

IEEE Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century (21CW)
IEEE Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century (21CW) The 21CW conference series addresses the technical, social and personal legacy of the founder of cybernetics, control theory, and information ethics, Norbert Wiener. It has been held in Boston (2014), Melbourne (2016), and as a virtual event hosted from Chennai, India (2021), with satellite activities in India 2014, 2016, 2018.

Expressions of interest are welcome for 2023.

If you are interested in hosting one of these events, please contact SSIT Conferences Chair, Jay Pearlman ( [email protected]) to request SSIT’s Call for Proposals Guide, which provides:
  • Guidance for conference organization and operations
  • An overview of expectations for proposal content
  • Background on ISTAS conference (including a list of recent events)
  • A proposal template
Call for New Content: SSIT Website and IEEE.tv Channel
Thank you to the SSIT Members and Chapters who have responded to date to the invitation to contribute content for publication on the SSIT website. We look forward to receiving regular contributions. Please send articles, event notifications and other relevant content including pictures to Miriam Cunningham, SSIT Web Committee Chair.

SSIT Chapters, Distinguished Lecturers and SSIT supported Events are invited to provide Miriam Cunningham with recordings of Guest Lectures and other relevant content linked with SSIT’s Technical areas and field of interest for publication in the SSIT Society Channel on IEEE.tv. Please send a link by email to download the .mp4 file, include SSIT branding in the recording, and ensure that you have written permission from the speaker to publish it.
Call for Nominations: IEEE SSIT Awards
IEEE SSIT has three major awards, all of which are open for nomination at this time.

The Carl Barus Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest is open to anyone, or group, who performs an important public service, possibly at the risk of career or reputation. This includes anyone, whether or not in the engineering profession, or a member of IEEE. Further information on recipients can be found at  https://technologyandsociety.org/member-resources/awards-programs/barus-award-recipients/.

The Brian M. O’Connell SSIT Distinguished Service Award is for SSIT volunteers who have demonstrated outstanding service for the benefit of SSIT. More information on this award can be found at

The SSIT Norbert Wiener Award for Social and Professional Responsibility is given to an individual or team for exceptional contribution, or outstanding career contribution in the field of the social implications of technology. Further information can be found at

To nominate an individual, submit information to Michael Cardinale. Include the individual’s contact information – name, address, phone, email, professional history (year, organization and position), and the proposed citation in 25 words or less. The nominator must also submit their own contact information.
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