Nov 09 | Cocktail Hour: Food Security and the Data Deluge

4:00-5:30pm | SJRC Common Room (Oakes 231)

The Science and Justice Research Center will host Madeleine Fairbairn, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California – Santa Cruz, and Zenia Kish, Teaching Fellow at Stanford University in a Cocktail Hour discussion.

Madeleine and Zenia will discuss their preliminary research into how the “data revolution” is reshaping efforts to address international food security on the part of development organizations, governments, and agribusinesses. As private global actors increasingly gather environmental and farmer-produced data from mobile phones, remote sensors, satellites, and agricultural equipment, food production and markets are being transformed by data infrastructures and algorithmic logic. There is potential for these new technologies to provide low-cost assistance to small farmers and valuable information for countries where official data collection is unreliable.  However, by making farmers into data workers, these technologies also have the potential to exacerbate existing vulnerabilities, further privatize responsibility for food security, and alter the way that smallholder knowledge is valued.

Madeleine Fairbairn is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2014. Zenia Kish is a postdoctoral fellow in the Thinking Matters program at Stanford University. She received her PhD in American Studies from New York University in 2015.

Posted in Past Events.