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Technology for All? A story of bias in design
Jude Brereton, Alice Courvoisier and Carolyn Dougherty

  • Tuesday 13 June 2017, 4.00PM to 5pm
  • Free admission
    Booking required
  • The Lakehouse, Ron Cooke Hub, University of York (map|getting to campus)
  • Wheelchair accessible

Event details

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We have a tendency to take technologies and infrastructures for granted: if they are designed as they are, then presumably, this was the 'best' possible option. Or was it?

A talk by civil engineer Carolyn Dougherty will highlight the philosophy and methodology behind 'universal design', showing that technology can be for everyone provided challenges are met with common sense and empathy.

See also the interactive workshop preceding the talk.

About the speakers

Dr Alice Courvoisier teaches Mathematics in the University of York’s Department of Electronics. Working with future engineers sparked her interest in engineering ethics and in trying to understand what motivates a society’s technological choices.

Alice strongly believes in public engagement. She has talked to specialised and lay audiences on topics ranging from sea kayaking to solar physics, and has been known to tell a story or two.

Carolyn Dougherty has been a civil engineer for around 30 years and currently works for Network Rail.  She specialises in, among other things, accessibility and universal design, developing designs to increase the accessibility of public buildings and spaces in the USA and UK.  She has taught universal design and given talks on the subject to many different audiences, including her eight-minute 'How to Design a Door' talk at the science comedy Bright Club in York. Carolyn is also a PhD student with the University of York’s Department of History.


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