Specialisation 1 Specialisation 2 Specialisation 3 Specialisation 4

Digital Technology in Society

General Introduction
The Specialization is focused on the study of the co-shaping of the digital and the social in concrete economic, political and cultural settings. Of particular interest is the cluster of technologies linked to the so called ‘4th Industrial Revolution’, especially Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics and Automation, Big Data, Social Media, The Internet of Things (IoT). The Specialization covers the whole range of the social use of these technologies, from science/technology/medicine to market/business and state/government contexts. It is designed so as to support STS research on the digital-social relationship that can usher in addressing major societal challenges (e.g. environmental destruction, biomedicalization, virtualization of reality). The following topics are included:

  • Europeanization and Digitalization
  • Digital Economy, Digital Entrepreneurship, Digital Business
  • Digitalization and Social Issues: Labor/Work, Human Rights, Gender, Race, Disability, Surveillance
  • Digitalization of Culture, Digital Humanities, Digital Heritage, Digital Museums, Digital Art
  • Digitalization and Borders, Digitalization and Migration
  • Ethics of Digitalization (e.g. AI Ethics, Big Data Ethics, Ethics and Robotics)
  • History of Digitalization

Learning Objectives
The Specialization provides an organized introduction to the digital-social relationship from STS perspectives. Students will be introduced to the main STS theories, concepts and methodologies involved in studying digitalization processes.

Through the Specialization they will become able to systematically:

  • Retrieve the social side of digitalization initiatives
  • Identify the economic, political and ideological dimensions of drives to digitalization
  • Elaborate on social limits to digitalization

Core Literature
The articles listed below and selected chapters from the books listed below:

  • Meryl Alper, Giving Voice: Mobile Communication, Disability, and Inequality, Cambridge, Massachusetts, The MIT Press, 2017.
  • lena Aronova, Christine von Oertzen, and David Sepkoski, “Introduction: Historicizing Big Data,” Osiris 32 (2017): 1-17.
  • Harry Collins, Artifictional Intelligence: Against Humanity’s Surrender to Computers, Polity Press, UK, 2018.
  • James Dobson, Critical Digital Humanities: The Search for a Methodology, University of Illinois Press, Chicago, Illinois, 2019.
  • Huub Dijstelbloem and Albert Meijer (editors), Migration and the New Technological Borders of Europe, Palgrave Macmillan, UK, 2011.
  • Nathan Ensmenger, The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise, Cambridge, Massachusetts, The MIT Press, 2012.
  • Virginia Eubanks, Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age, Cambridge, Massachusetts, The MIT Press, 2011.
  • Virginia Eubanks, Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor, Picador, New York, New York, 2019.
  • Matthias Heymann, Gabriele Gramelsberger and Martin Mahony (editors), Cultures of Prediction in Atmospheric and Climate Science: Epistemic and Cultural Shifts in Computer-based Modelling and Simulation, Routledge, London, UK, 2017.
  • Thomas J. Misa (editor), Gender Codes: Why Women Are Leaving Computing, Wiley – IEEE Computer Society, Hoboken, New Jersey, 2010.
  • Arthur Tatnall (editor), Reflections on the History of Computing: Preserving Memories
  • and Sharing Stories, Springer, London, UK, 2012.
  • Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, Profile Books, London, UK, 2019.
  • Aristotle Tympas, “From the Display of a Digital-Masculine Machine to the Concealed Analog-Feminine Labour: The Passage from the History of Technology to Labour and Gender History”, Historein 19.1, 2020 (https://ejournals.epublishing.ekt.gr/pfiles/journals/14/editor-uploads/issues/1165/main1165.html?1=1165&2=19134)

Schedule of Introductory Course
ESST student who choose this specialization are following a course that combines an intensive one-month introduction to the overall specialization  (to run from mid-February to mid-March) and semester-long lectures/discussions on representative specialization themes (scheduled throughout the spring semester, also attended by about 20 students of the local Athens ESST/STS-related graduate programs).

Examples of Thesis Topics
For a sample of recent ESST theses that are relevant to this Specialization, see:

  • Thomas Verra, Issues alongside the Integration of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data into CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, 2020.
  • Kyriaki Giagkousi, Gender and computing algorithms: Τhe case of ‘stable matching’, 2020.
  • Georgiana Kotsou, Discourses on the Emergence of Big Data Technologies in the Greek Medical Press Approach, 2019.
  • Anastasia Stoli, Picturing Big Data in media, 2019.

Specialization Faculty
Aristotle Tympas (specialization coordinator) (PhD, Georgia Tech, 2001), Professor (analog-digital relationship in science, technology and medicine; digitalization and labor/work)

Christos Papatheodorou (PhD, Athens University of Economics, 1992), Professor (digital humanities)

Mihalis Sialaros (PhD, Birkbeck/UCL, 2012), Assistant Professor, (quantification/mathematization and culture)

Katerina Dermitzaki (PhD, NKUA, 2013), Tenured Special Teaching/Laboratory Personnel (science and technology museums; cultural industry)

Tania Doxanaki (PhD, NKUA, 2011), Tenured Special Teaching/Laboratory Personnel (science and technology museums; cultural industry)

Katerina Vlantoni (PhD, NKUA, 2016), Adjunct Faculty (biomedicalization and digitalization)

Manolis Simos (PhD, University of Cambridge, 2018), Postdoctoral Fellow (theories of technology and culture; science, technology and literature)

Danae Karydaki (PhD, Birkbeck/UCL, 2016), Affiliated Researcher (gender studies; psychoanalysis, psychiatry, psychology)

Giorgos Zoukas (PhD, University of Edinburgh, 2019), Postdoctoral Fellow (social media in environmental science and engineering)

Nikos Karabekios (PhD, NKUA, 2011) Affiliated Researcher, Head of the Metric and Innovation Unit, National Documentation Center (digitalization metrics/indicators)

Iraklis Katsaloulis (PhD, NKUA, 2016), Affiliated Researcher (digitalization and open science)

Nancy Megremi (PhD, NKUA, 2016), Postdoctoral Fellow (digital humanities)

Olga Lafazani (PhD, Harokopeio University, 2014), Affiliated Researcher (migration; geography)

International Faculty/Partners
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Neyer, Vice President for International Affairs and European New School of Digital Studies (ENS), European University Viadrina, Germany (digitalization and europeanization, digital entrepreneurship)

Dr. Vasilis Galis, Associate Professor, Technologies in Practice Group, ITU Copenhagen, Denmark (technology and migration; technology and disability; technology and the state)

Aristotle Tympas (tympas@phs.uoa.gr)