Gwen Ottinger visits for 2 events on April 4


We are pleased to be hosting Gwen Ottinger at the School of Education on April 3rd & 4th. Ottinger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Drexel University, where she directs the Fair Tech Collective, a research group dedicated to using social science theory and methods to inform the development of technology that fosters environmental justice.

There will be two open opportunities to hear from Ottinger on campus: 

Public Lecture: From Sensing to Sense-Making: Dilemmas of Data in Citizen Science

Co-hosted by the Center for Community and Citizen Science, and the Science and Technology Studies Program.

April 4th, 12:00pm, Location: SSH 1246

RSVP here.


Advances in low-cost air sensors appear to be a boon for communities concerned about air quality.  But their real value depends on citizen scientists’ ability to interpret and mobilize the data they produce. Departing from many innovators’ and scholars’ focus on sensing technology, I examine the interpretive work that goes into making air quality data meaningful in communities overburdened by pollution. Environmental justice activists, I show, face two contradictory challenges: inventing new modes of interpretation that better represent local experience, and aligning their data with potential political leverage points, often structured by technocratic frames. To be most useful for grassroots groups, citizen sensing programs should be designed with both goals in mind.

Community Science Salon

Co-hosted by the Center for Community and Citizen Science, and the Center for Regional Change

April 4th at 3:30pm in Hunt Hall Room 142

How does—or could—your work relate to the interests and concerns of local communities? What are the challenges and opportunities for university researchers who aim to collaborate with, and support community groups? Join an open discussion of these and other questions about Community Science, with Gwen Ottinger, Associate Professor at Drexel University and director of the Fair Tech Collective. Ottinger has studied community-led air monitoring in environmental justice communities since 2001, and is currently collaborating with Bay area activists on a project that attempts to make monitoring data more useful in Environmental Justice organizing. Come to listen, learn, and share your experiences in this open dialog. Light refreshments will be provided. (view and share a flyer for this event)

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