Innovation from the Margins: Users, Producers and Technology Choice
Project 1: Circulating Sciences From Below (Wrapping Up)
I am working on my first book which describes community ophthalmology NGOs in South Asia and East Africa. These professionals are re-inventing surgical sciences and ophthalmic technologies, and creating new hospital management techniques in order to fight avoidable blindness worldwide. I am using Innovation Studies theory (socio-technical regimes and multi-level perspective) as well as critical theory from Feminist Technology Studies, and Political Sociology of Science & Technology to explain: (1) how appropriate technology choices are made collectively; and (2) the processes by which these innovations circulate throughout the world – to the benefit of both low-income patients and global modern science.
Professorial Assistant: Georgia Artzberger
Project 2: Blind Users and Everyday Technologies (Preliminary)
My second project involves participatory action research with photographers trained in sensory photography. Together these participants (persons with blindness and low vision) and I articulated and tried to answer a research question about technology as an obstacle or an aid. This project is being conducted in the U.S. It uses the photovoice methodology.
Project 3: Gender, Environment and ICT4D (Ongoing)
Project 3 involves analyzing the gender role of women in the design, production and use of information and communications technologies for international development. In the first part of this project, I have examined the likelihood of a proposed collaboration between scientists and rural women in the Indian Ocean region to increase women's access/recognition/participation in development, where the women are involved in participatory sensing using mobile phones. In the second part of this project, I am examining civil society organizations' potential ability to encourage sustainable technology production and consumption choices among other non-profit and for-profit organizations. These influential civil society organizations are interested in decreasing the accumulation of electronic waste (e-waste) which negatively (and primarily) causes environmental health harms to women and children in the global south.
Project 4: Gender and Socio-technical System Change (Preliminary)
My newest project returns to my interest in science and technology circulation from the global south outwards. In this project, I investigate women's roles in producing and circulating knowledge, expertise and skills while working as: ophthalmic technicians (refractionists and surgical technologists), instrument repair technicians, and manufacturing production technicians.
Research Assistant: Charmonique Maye