Imagining technologies for a better future requires a deeper understanding of those currently available.
Join University of York scientists for an interactive workshop investigating a technology we are all reliant on, if not addicted to - mobile phones. Dismantle phones, inspect their component parts and discuss where the materials are sourced and where they end up at the end of the phone’s life. You’ll also learn about Fairphone’s sustainability policy.
As the pace of innovation increases, we become surrounded by more and more electronic objects. Yet, as end users, we often know little about what they’re made of and do not always give thought as to what extent they shape, or are shaped, by society.
The second part of the event will involve a discussion of the wider social context in which mobile phone technology is embedded, interrogating how it affects various aspects of our lives. A phone’s handset is but the tip of an iceberg. Learn why technologies are much more than pieces of hardware and that becoming aware of their wide-ranging ramifications is key to designing for a better future.
Old phones (pre-smartphones) will be provided for dismantling, but if you have one you no longer use, please bring it along.
Dr Alice Courvoisier teaches Mathematics in the Department of Electronic Engineering at the University of York. Working with future engineers sparked her interest in ethics and in societal aspects of science and technology.
Dr Elena Koutsoumpeli is a researcher at the Department of Electronics, University of York. With a background in chemistry and environmental sciences, her research is focused on the development of sensor technologies for the detection of pathogens or environmental contaminants in water.
Currently, Elena is part of a transdisciplinary project, which through engagement with local communities and other stakeholders, aims to co-design appropriate technologies for monitoring drinking water quality in the remote South Pacific islands of Vanuatu. She enjoys public engagement, not only as a wonderful opportunity to share her enthusiasm about science, but also as a means of learning as well as receiving valuable input from citizens, which greatly enriches the scope and focus of her research.