CIDA- Seminar: Immaculate conception of data: agribusiness, activists and their shared politics of the future with Kelly Bronson

Abstract: Did you know that agribusinesses increasingly trade in big data just like Facebook, Google and Amazon? In this talk, Kelly Bronson will develop a closely observed account of scientists and farmers working across a variety of domains – from private labs to farm fields to activist technology-building workshops. She will use stories to describe what is being done with agricultural big data by those hoping to innovate food production. In addition to describing data practices, Bronson will detail the magical qualities that people are investing in big-data systems, ultimately exploring what happens to environmental and food justice when emergent technologies get caught up in pre-existing arrangements of power and historic habits of thought and speech.

Bio: Kelly Bronson is a Canada Research Chair in Science and Society at University of Ottawa in Canada. She is a social scientist studying that studies the societal and ethical dimensions of controversial technologies and their governance—from GMOs to big data. She has published her work in national (Canadian Journal of Communication) and international journals (Science as Culture, Journal of Responsible Innovation, Big Data and Society). She has just published a book on big data and AI in agriculture with McGill-Queen’s University Press titled, Immaculate Conception of Data: Agribusiness, activists and their shared politics of the future.

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