Duke University’s Center on Science & Technology Policy will explore the difficult science and technology issues facing our society and expand the University offerings in science and technology policy. The Center will serve as an interdisciplinary hub for science and technology policy analysis, while also fostering deeper ties between the university and the local and global tech communities. It will also continue to develop SciPol.org, which tracks active legislation, regulation, and court judgments.
The Center is directed by Matt Perault (MPP ‘08). Perault spent the last 8 years working on the public policy team at Facebook, where he led the company’s policy development team. He covered issues ranging from antitrust to human rights and oversaw the company’s policy work on emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality. In July, he testified in Congress on the competitiveness of the technology sector. Perault is jointly appointed in the Sanford School and Science & Society as Associate Professor of the Practice.
“An academic institution can play an instrumental role in translating concerns about our technology services into concrete policy options that address potential unintended consequences of technology and social media,” said Perault. “My hope is that the Center will be sufficiently nimble to tackle new policy issues as they emerge.”
Duke’s proximity to Washington and the rapidly-expanding science and technology industry in the Research Triangle Park, Durham, and Raleigh provide a unique opportunity for greater engagement by the Duke community in emerging tech policy.
The Center will seek to engage with corporate, government, academic, and non-profit partners under the leadership of its newly appointed director in order to position Duke as a regional hub and global influencer in the tech space.
The Center on Science & Technology Policy was established in collaboration with Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy.
Judith Kelley, dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy, said Matt Perault’s appointment showcases the school’s growing technology expertise, interdisciplinary connections and innovative approach.
“Technology is in the foreground of so many decisions today, including policy. Matt Perault’s faculty appointment will contribute to knowledge on key research questions around technology and policy, as well as national and international security. As an alumnus of our nationally-ranked Master of Public Policy program with expertise working in major technology companies and for the government, we are thrilled he is returning to Duke as a scholar in his home school. In addition, his role as director of the new center is a wonderful example of the value Sanford places on our interdisciplinary and applied work.”