- Anna Vrtiak (MSc Student in Digital Business) and Lisa Van Osten (Bachelor of Information Science student) created a course on digital surveillance and cyberfeminism;
- Computational social sciences student Luca Busani Focus on the intersection between quantum principles and social sciences;
- Psychology students Evita Shrestha And Sasha Kraft He wanted students to learn to look at the concept of “community” from an interdisciplinary point of view;
- Master’s student Shreya Shrimani Kumar (Finance) wanted to examine the concept of “going viral” from an ethical and social perspective.
In the Iselhorst course, students research new technologies – their development, participants, and possibilities for use – and conduct critical discussions. “We look beyond popular topics like artificial intelligence and big data; think nanorobotics and neurotechnology,” says Isselhorst. “Because the topic is interdisciplinary, students can bring their perspectives from different backgrounds.” Ultimately, he writes Students provide an advisory report to policy makers.
Iselhorst invented the course because she felt she had learned too little about technologies during her studies in political science, while politics would eventually have to create regulations for technology. Governments still have many questions about the latest technologies. For example, some autonomous systems, such as rescue drones, are very useful for putting out forest fires, but what if the same technology could be used to shoot people from the air using drones? What are the rules, who can own these technologies, and where are the limits? For example, within the European Union there is a data privacy law called GDPR, but in the United States different regulations apply. There seems to be no legislation at all for some things, for example Targeted advertising Political parties on social networking sites. Often countries do not yet know how they need or want to regulate this.
The jury praised Islehorst’s career for, among other things, the opportunity to actively involve technology companies in education. It is also striking that four of the five theme ideas had an interface with the technological revolution, as IIS employee and judging panel member Linda de Greif said afterwards. According to her, the jury members expected the topic to generate many ideas about sustainability, but “the digital world is likely to resonate well with this generation of students.”
Next year, Islehurst will work with educational developers from the Institute of Ismaili Studies on her elective course, so that it can be taught in the first semester of the next academic year. Last year, political science also produced challenge winners: Witza Valstra and Sasha Bruns received the award for their course on food forests.
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