Social Sciences and Technology: Unlocking New Possibilities for a Connected World

EECCSSA’s 48th Annual Virtual Conference Roundtable, October 27th, 2023


“With the rise of new technologies and high-tech industries … there was a need to analyse the economic and social impacts of the changes that were taking place.” Professor Luc Soete, Rector Magnificus of Maastricht University, the Netherlands

Technology is an integral part of our lives, shaping how we communicate, learn, work, play, and interact with the world. Technology also offers unprecedented opportunities for addressing some of the most pressing social and global challenges of our time, such as poverty, inequality, health, education, environment, and security. However, technology also poses significant ethical, social, and cultural dilemmas that require careful consideration and critical reflection. How can we harness the power of technology for social good, while ensuring that it does not harm or exclude anyone? How can we balance the benefits and risks of technology for society and humanity? How can we foster a culture of responsible and ethical innovation that respects human dignity and values?

These are some of the questions that motivate the ECCSSA 48th Annual Virtual Conference Roundtable. This conference will explore the ways in which social sciences and technology intersect, and how this intersection can be used to create new opportunities for a more connected world. We will discuss the implications of this intersection for both individuals and societies, and how it can be used to create a more equitable and just future. We will also explore the ethical implications of this intersection and the potential for misuse and abuse. Through a series of keynote speakers, panel discussions, and interactive workshops, we will explore the potential of this intersection to create a more connected and equitable world.

Critical Questions and Potential Topics

  • How can social media platforms foster civic engagement and democratic participation in the digital age?
  • What are the ethical and social implications of using artificial intelligence and big data for social good?
  • How can virtual reality and augmented reality enhance learning and teaching outcomes in various disciplines and contexts?
  • What are the best practices and challenges of designing and implementing inclusive and accessible technologies for diverse populations and needs?
  • How can blockchain technology and smart contracts transform governance, trust, and accountability in various sectors and domains?
  • How can digital humanities and computational social sciences advance interdisciplinary research and innovation in the humanities and social sciences?
  • How can technology-mediated communication and collaboration enhance social capital, well-being, and resilience in times of crisis and uncertainty?
  • What are the potential risks and opportunities of emerging technologies such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, and quantum computing for society and humanity?