Jenna and James are exploring ideas related to three Sub-Majors: Science and Technology, Artificial Intelligence and Ethics, and Crisis, Resilience and Survival. Each of these majors is premised on the significant challenges of the near future and will position students to understand and act in response to these challenges in the present.
Scientific and technological developments have and will continue to shape the future of work, and a deeper understanding of the social impacts of science and technology upon individuals, groups, organisations and communities will position students to instigate, manage and adapt to social transformations brought about by science and technology. It is intended to enable students to innovate and evaluate socio-scientific and socio-technological driven solutions to contemporary issues and articulate contemporary competencies and trends into a professional portfolio
Artificial Intelligence and Ethics Studies asks what kind of human is AI? Who benefits from AI and who doesn’t? Where did AI come from and who is shaping it? How might it be used against us? Can AI save us? Students will explore AI from numerous entry points - philosophy, ethics, computer science, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, games design, and cyber justice - to conceptualise AI differently and materialise alternate possible futures with responsibility.
The Crisis, Resilience and Survival Studies sub-major addresses the most pressing ecological, political and ethical questions of the 21st century. It considers the challenges and opportunities produced by a changing political climate and a transformed attitude to truth and accountability in politics. It closely examines the worldwide climate crisis and its local manifestations in Greater Western Sydney and around Australia. Students will have in-depth knowledge of Australian Indigenous cultures; an informed understanding of government and non-government institutions responsible for global health and wellbeing; a mature perspective on the importance of diverse knowledge and disciplinary focuses in addressing multimodal problems; and ability to link these skills via sophisticated storytelling approaches.
Dr Jenna Condie (opens in a new window) is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Research & Online Social Analysis in the Social of Social Sciences and a School-based
Research Fellow with the Young and Resilient Strategic Research Initiative. Her interdisciplinary research traverses critical psychology, geography, and technology studies. Jenna’s research is concerned with what people and places are becoming with digital technologies. Current projects focus on women’s
safety, digital geographies of fear, and equitable mobilities. Since joining Western, Jenna has been working across Schools to produce new socio-technical curriculum that enables students to work at the intersections of technology and society.
Dr James Gourley (opens in a new window) is a Senior Lecturer in Literary Studies in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts. James is currently researching the literature produced in Australia as a consequence of its historical medical epidemics (looking at smallpox, leprosy, the bubonic plague and influenza). He is also completing a book on panic in post-World War Two literature.