What Happened to Digital Contact Tracing’s Summer of Potential?

I Saw the Challenges of Harnessing Digital Data for Public Health up Close During the Pandemic

In the summer of 2020, when most countries were cherishing the quiet before the second peak in COVID-19 cases, the non-profit I was volunteering at was bustling with activity. It had developed an open-source digital contact tracing system—one of those smartphone apps that tracks one’s whereabouts and sends notifications if the user had been exposed to COVID-19.

“Do you want to join one of our meetings?” was the offer of a volunteer I met at a (virtual) university event. He knew I was researching public use of highly contentious technology. …

How Can Inventors Respond to the Real-World Effects of Their Inventions? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Can Inventors Respond to the Real-World Effects of Their Inventions?

A More Holistic Approach to the Field Can Make Technology Better for Society

What is it like to be an inventor? Are inventors responsible for the societal ramifications of their creations? And how could a more holistic approach to innovation lead future scientists …

To My Pen Pal in Hamburg, Germany, With Love From Watts, California | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

To My Pen Pal in Hamburg, Germany, With Love From Watts, California

How a Transcontinental Correspondence Turned Into One of my Most Valuable Friendships

How can we celebrate the people we’ve never met who helped get us through the worst year of our life?

When I was a child, my grandmother often expressed the importance …

Can Innovation Really Solve Society’s Problems? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can Innovation Really Solve Society’s Problems?

To Reckon With Today’s Greatest Challenges, We Need to Rethink Innovation Itself

Since World War II, the United States has famously funded research to advance all fields of science and innovation, fueling new disease-fighting drugs, increasing economic productivity, and sparking an information …

Will Holograms Help Us Grieve? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Will Holograms Help Us Grieve?

Ready or Not, Digital Afterlives Are Here to Stay

Long before Kim Kardashian West made headlines for being gifted a hologram of her deceased father for her 40th birthday, a panel session at South by Southwest Interactive, an annual …

Why CRISPR May Be the Most Important Thing to Happen on the Planet in 4.5 Billion Years | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why CRISPR May Be the Most Important Thing to Happen on the Planet in 4.5 Billion Years

This Gene-Editing Technology Promises to Revolutionize Medicine, Spark Ethical Debate, and Might Even Bring Woolly Mammoths Back to Earth

Bringing extinct species back to life may sound like science fiction, but it’s a real thing—perhaps the most important to occur during the past 4.5 billion years. Called “de-extinction,” the …