Seminars & Events

Data Justice Seminar

The venue will be zoom, 3:30-4:30, Tuesdays, with at a link to be sent out each week to those that have RSVP'd. Please sign up here if you want to be on the emailing list.  Learn more about the Wright Center here.

4/13 - Jay Aronson, Director of the Center for Human Rights Science at Carnegie Mellon University

Bio: Founder and director of the Center for Human Rights Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also Professor of Science, Technology, and Society in the History Department. Aronson's research and teaching focus on the interactions of science, technology, law, media, and human rights in a variety of contexts. He is currently writing a book with Roger Mitchell, Jr., the Chief Medical Examiner of Washington, DC, that addresses significant shortcomings in the way police killings and deaths in custody are recorded and investigated in the United States. He is also engaged in a long-term project on the use of video evidence in human rights investigations. Previously, Aronson spent nearly a decade examining the ethical, political, and social dimensions of post-conflict and post-disaster identification of the missing and disappeared in collaboration with a team of anthropologists, bioethicists, and forensic scientists he assembled. He has also been involved in a variety of projects with colleagues from statistics, political science, and the conflict monitoring community to improve the quality of civilian casualty recording and estimation in times of conflict.

Title: The Promise and Peril of AI, Machine Learning, and Data Analysis in Human Rights Practice

Abstract: In this talk I will introduce Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Human Rights Science (CHRS); describe our work at the intersection of machine learning, computer vision, data analysis, and human rights; and present a case study on reconstructing citizen killings by security force personnel during the 2014 Euromaidan protests in Kiev, Ukraine. I will highlight the value of computer scientists partnering with community groups and human rights practitioners to advance social welfare, and encourage computer scientists to use a harm reduction approach (pioneered in the field of public health) in all of their work.

4/20 - Jared Holt, Resident Fellow, Atlantic Council

Title: A Blurred Line: How Online Extremism and Disinformation Translate Into Real-Life Risks

Abstract: This talk will examine examples and patterns of online extremism and disinformation generating threats in the physical world. For too long, law enforcement, politicians, and civil society have treated offline and online threats as separate concerns. As the world is increasingly intertwined with the internet, the line between these environments will become even more porous. DFRLab's Jared Holt will speak to this phenomenon and what can be done. He will also take questions from the audience about the state of extremism and disinformation online.  4/27 - Amiya Bhatia, Research Fellow in Social Epidemiology and Child Protection, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Title: Counting for accountability: Which populations are missing in public health data in low- and middle-income countries?

Bio: Dr. Amiya Bhatia is a social epidemiologist, currently a Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Amiya's research examines: (1) biases and blind spots in global health data and the role of global and local organisations in producing and using data on children, and (2) inequalities in child health, violence and child protection outcomes in low- and middle-income countries.

Amiya has over a decade of professional and research experience on a range of child health and protection issues including pediatric HIV, immunization, polio, infant mortality reduction, birth registration, child labor, child marriage, and violence against children. She completed her MPH and ScD in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and her BA in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge.

Abstract: This talk will explore which populations and places are missing in the public health data used to monitor birth rates, infant mortality, violence against women and children, and cancer incidence in low- and middle-income countries. Drawing on comparative quantitative analyses of population-level data and qualitative research in India and Nepal, the talk will explore the types of invisibilities in these data, the implications on understanding social inequalities, on policy and practice, and conclude with current efforts to improve public health data for health equity.

5/4 - Lillian Leung, Graduate Research Assistant, Eviction Lab, Princeton University

Title: Unpacking America's Eviction Crisis: Transforming Administrative Data for Policy Change

Abstract: Understanding eviction is foundational to understanding poverty and the affordable housing crisis in America and informing evidence-based policy change. This presentation focuses on two related projects from the Eviction Lab that illustrate the potential and challenges of using large administrative datasets to shed light on social issues such as evictions. This talk will first discuss the Eviction Lab's national eviction database, for which the Eviction Lab drew on millions of court records between 2000 and 2016 to provide a comprehensive analysis of evictions in America. In cleaning data for this first project, the Lab uncovered the phenomenon of serial evictions, which occur when landlords repeatedly file against the same tenant at the same address. This discovery led to a second, mixed-methods project. While longitudinal administrative data allows us to demonstrate the scope of the phenomenon, in-depth interviews with landlords help expand upon why serial evictions are occurring. Together, these projects have been influential to sparking discussion about landlord-tenant laws and eviction policies across the country, most evidently during the pandemic.

5/11 - Alexa Koenig, Executive Director of the Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley School of Law

Bio: Alexa Koenig, JD, PhD, is executive director of UC Berkeley's Human Rights Center (winner of the 2015 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions), director of the center's Technology and Human Rights Program, and a lecturer in UC Berkeley's School of Law. She co-founded UC Berkeley's Investigations Lab, which trains students and professionals to use digital research methods to strengthen investigative reporting, legal investigations, and human rights advocacy. Alexa is also a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility and co-chair of the International Bar Association's Human Rights Law Committee, among other posts. She has been honored with the United Nations Association-SF's Global Human Rights Award, the Mark Bingham Award for Excellence, and as a 2020 Woman Inspiring Change by Harvard Law School. Recent books include Digital Witness: Using Open Source Information for Human Rights Investigation, Documentation and Accountability (Oxford University Press 2020) and Hiding in Plain Sight (UC Press 2016).

Title: Human Rights Center at Berkeley Law

Abstract: The increasing use of digital technologies--including social media--is changing how everyone from law enforcement to human rights activists to war crimes investigators are discovering and reporting on world events. From genocide in Myanmar to chemical weapons attacks in Syria to the siege on the U.S. Capitol, digital technologies are being used to document human rights violations and war crimes. The Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley has been pioneering the application of digital open source investigations to international criminal investigations, most recently partnering with the United Nations Office of the HIgh Commissioner for Human Rights to release a global protocol on the use of digital data in international legal processes. In this talk, Alexa Koenig will discuss how digital technologies are increasingly being deployed in the quest for justice, spotlighting the latest efforts to make that deployment ever-more efficient, effective, and ethical.

5/18 - Jacque Wernimont, Distinguished Chair in Digital Humanities & Social Engagement, WGSS, Dartmouth College

Bio: Jacque Wernimont is Distinguished Chair of Digital Humanities and Social Engagement and an Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at Dartmouth College. She is also a co-Director of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaborative) and runs the Digital Justice Lab at Dartmouth. Her books include Numbered Lives: Life and Death in Quantum Mediaand the co-edited Bodies of Information: Intersectional Feminism and Digital Humanities (with Elizabeth Losh). As a digital media scholar who specializes in mathematic and computational media and their histories, her work is synthetic and bridges the humanities, sciences, and arts.

Title: What do we mean when we talk about 'data justice'?

Abstract: Justice frameworks are plural and varied, as are approaches to fostering, supporting, or advancing justice through data collection, analysis, and communication. I'll be using this discussion to share how I approach the questions: what is data justice? how do we go about creating more just futures with data?. In particular, I'll be using Covid-19 data gathering efforts as a way to focus the discussion.

5/25 - Leonardo Milano, Predictive Analytics Team Lead, and Stuart Campo, Data Responsibility Team Lead, UNOCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data