S&S Dialogues

Informal opportunities to gather over lunch and discuss current events, cutting-edge research, and works in progress at the intersection of science and society.

S&S Dialogues are informal opportunities to gather over lunch and discuss current events, cutting-edge research, and works in progress at the intersection of science and society. Each month, we bring together two experts in STEM and the humanities to discuss a common topic. Our guests will present information and lead a discussion about the implications of the chosen topic for society, bioethics, and policy. For faculty, the group serves as a time for exploring current issues and for freely sharing opinions in a collaborative setting; for students and young professionals, the group serves as a venue for learning more about the intersection of law, ethics, and policy. Interested individuals at all levels of career and training are welcome to attend. Held monthly on Thursdays from noon – 1 p.m.

Upcoming Dialogues

Bitcoin & Blockchain
Check back soon for more info on this event.


Past Dialogues

The Internet of Things: An Unprecedented Window Into Your Life and Behavior 
Thursday, January 19, 2017

With an estimated 50 billion interconnected devices pouring data into the ether, should we expect a global economic and social bonanza or a giant step toward the loss of individual privacy?

This political season proved that technology as established as e-mail is highly vulnerable. How can we assure that the IoT explosion of data remains secure?

SAS Systems Architect Michael Thomas will present the terrain of IoT and demonstrate the power of combining IoT with immersive analytics techniques with augmented and virtual reality.

David Hoffman, Intel’s Associate General Counsel and Global Privacy Officer and member of Duke law faculty, will discuss how laws and public policy must adjust to “things” becoming part of the internet.


Driverless Cars – Are We Ready to Hand Over the Wheel?
Thursday, October 20, 2016

Driverless cars could save lives by replacing distracted, impaired, and otherwise imperfect human drivers with machines at the wheel. Recently, the Obama administration has promised strong safety oversight and has given the green light to automakers eager to roll out this new technology. Are we ready to let robots do the driving? How should lawmakers at the local, state, and national level set policy to determine liability, thwart harmful use, and protect consumer privacy?

Dr. Michael Clamann, senior research scientist at the Duke Humans and Autonomy Lab at the Pratt School of Engineering, and Dr. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Professor of Practical Ethics in the Duke Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics, will lead us through a discussion of the key technological and ethical issues posed by driverless vehicles.


Beyond Pokemon Go – Your Future With Augmented Reality
Thursday, September 22, 2016

For 30 million users Pokemon Go may have been their first hands-on experience with augmented (AR). Mobile tech has made it easier than ever to explore virtual environments for entertainment, but the Pokemon Go craze hints at far greater applications that will change the way we live. From art installations to anthropology, neuroscience to cyber-stalking, AR empowers us in ways previously impossible.

  • What makes the technology different today and what barriers still exist?
  • How is AR driving advances in health, research, and education?
  • What are some immediate concerns over the widespread use of AR in our daily lives?
  • What’s hype and what’s already a reality?

Join us for lunch and a discussion with Regis Kopper, PhD from the Duke DiVE Lab and Mark J. Olson, PhD, with the Duke Wired! group to discuss the Pokemon Go phenomenon and the effects of AR on society.


2016-2017 Topics

  • Organs on a Chip
  • Bitcoin & Blockchain
  • Internet of Things
  • Open AI Ecosystems

Check back soon for more details on our S&S Dialogues Series. For more information on our 2014-2016 S&S Roundtables Series, click here.