[AG-TECH] April Liquid Seeds

Allison Clark aclark at ncsa.uiuc.edu
Tue Apr 11 22:40:10 CDT 2006

The Seedbed Initiative for Transdomain Creativity and CHASS invite you 
to attend a talk presented by Research Fellow Ron Eglash on Thursday, 
April 27 at 4:30 PM, at NCSA’s auditorium. This event will be broadcast 
on the access grid. A reception will follow.

Cultural Cybernetics:  Using Informatics to Bridge the Universal/Local 
Knowledge Divide


Many of the threats to sustainability and social justice are grounded 
in claims for the universality of science and technology. The claims 
for genetic inferiority of non-whites, the focus on oil and uranium for 
our national energy strategy, the over-use of pesticides and other 
disastrous decisions derived their legitimacy from scientific 
authority. Yet diminishing the authority of science by applying 
relativist social construction is equally disastrous, as it invites 
religious authority and other “closed society” knowledge claims to fill 
the gap. Cultural cybernetics is one way to allow an anti-relativist 
constructivism, using informatics to bridge the universal/local 
knowledge gap.

Ron Eglash holds a B.S. in Cybernetics, an M.S. in Systems Engineering, 
and PhD in History of Consciousness, all from the University of 
California. A Fulbright postdoctoral fellowship enabled his field 
research on African ethnomathematics, which was published by Rutgers 
University Press in 1999 as African Fractals: modern computing and 
indigenous design. He is now an associate professor of Science and 
Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He recently 
co-edited Appropriating Technology: Vernacular Science and Social power 
(UM Press 2004). His current project, funded by the NSF, HUD, and Dept. 
of Education, translates the mathematical concepts embedded in cultural 
designs of African, African American, Native American, and Latino 
communities into software design tools for secondary school education. 
The software is available online at 

This event is co-sponsored by Seedbed and CHASS

Allison Clark, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Seedbed Initiative for Transdomain Creativity
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts - Office of the Director
500 South Goodwin Avenue
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
Urbana IL 61801-3788
MC 072
Cell: 217-493-8935
It's great to be a Florida Gator!!!

Vernon Burton,  Director, Center for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and 
Social Science (UIUC)
  217- 333-4327;   http://vburton.ncsa.uiuc.edu;   

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