STS Faculty Profiles (including NATS faculty who teach in STS)
Professor Helene Mialet
I’m interested in studying how creativity and innovation happen in real life. I’m currently working on a new way of managing diabetes by using a highly sophisticated instrument, the nose of a dog. I’m also following biohackers who are making insulin in a counter-culture lab in California, and hackers who are making an artificial pancreas.
Professor Conor Douglas
I am working on a project examining Social Pharmaceutical Innovation (SPIN). This project is conducting interdisciplinary research on new forms of pharmaceutical research, development, deployment and provisioning that break with old models of pharmaceutical innovation that are primarily profit-driven. In areas like rare diseases or tropical diseases many people are without (effective) medicine primarily due to financial constraints. The drugs are either too expensive, or the patients are very poor. Our team is applying principles of social innovation (i.e. innovation that targets social and environmental vulnerabilities and vulnerable populations, is not necessarily market-driven, and is collaborative involving and including user communities) to pharmaceutical research and development.
Professor James Elwick
Our current climate crisis has many public figures “gaslighting” the public (i.e. say demonstrably false things without fear of consequences). I’ve started studying how scientists like Andrew Weaver, current leader of the BC Green Party, and groups like “Evidence for Democracy” organize politically to pressure public figures to change this behaviour. In addition, I am completing a book that examines how exams and metrics first got standardized. I look at how exam results were turned into metrics and rankings, and how scientists and other professions were able to get publicly certified as “experts” for these kinds of tests.
Professor Ernst Hamm
I am interested in the history of the earth sciences, the eras of Enlightenment and Romanticism, and the relationship between science and culture. Recently I've been researching mountains in terms of how they became regarded as microcosms of larger environments, their place in scientific research and the ways in which this is linked to their deep cultural and symbolic importance. I am also interested in mines, the deep counterpart to lofty peaks, as places for thinking about, manipulating and changing the environment.
Professor Dov Lungu
I am interested in representations of technology in the Arts, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the social implications of AI. I am currently researching the role played by the Macintosh User Groups in the acceptance and diffusion of Apple technologies in the 1980s with special emphasis on user-driven innovation.
Dr. Daniela Monaldi
My research focuses on the physical and mathematical sciences, including the history of quantum statistics and the profound changes it has introduced in our understanding of matter For example, how the evolution of the statistical style of reasoning in physics in the early twentieth century led to the invention of Bose-Einstein statistics. In addition, I am increasingly interested in the interplay of gender, science, and technology. In collaboration with Prof. Vera Pavri, I co-designed and currently teach a course that explores gender issues in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Professor Jill Lazenby
I examine what makes any given knowledge “scientific” according to different groups of people through time. I address this topic primarily by exploring the distinctions that are made between science and pseudoscience, experts and non-experts, and by looking at how different cultures interpret science. I’m also interested in developing experiential exercises that introduce undergraduate students to STS research skills.
Professor Vera Pavri
I study how socio-cultural values shape our digital environments (including AI), and how these systems have helped transform the way we work, play, communicate, think and process information. Recently, I’ve become interested in persuasive technologies – IT systems that are deliberately designed to positively or negatively influence human behavior.