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Category: 07. 4/4 Research Proposal

Research Proposal

Title: Epidemiology and disease, are we doing more harm than good?

Critical Question: Have humans been killing each other off through man-made diseases and vaccines, or are we truly innocent and trying to help our own?

Thesis (tentative): Arguments claiming that certain diseases are man-made and vaccines do more harm than protection are not well-supported by factual evidence and therefore are not reliable.

Brief Description:

I plan to discuss the controversies of why people think certain diseases are man-made like cancer and diabetes and the extent that this may be true. This will be one of my points, while another will be around the attempt to prevent certain diseases, vaccines. There is a huge controversy on whether or not vaccines are helpful, so I will also discuss the extent to which this controversy can be true or false. I will also provide a brief history on both topics to show the progression of both, supporting my arguments. My goal of this paper is to discuss popular controversies and provide the reader with information they may not have known, allowing them to learn more about the topics and not have false claims without knowing hard evidence.

I believe this is important, because in the case of things like cancer, there are things that can prevent cancer, things that are man-made, but cancer itself is not man-made, despite certain beliefs there is no evidence for this idea. I hope to also briefly provide ways that someone can better prevent themselves from cancer, despite the fact that it is often inevitable, there are some things that provoke it. Being educated about vaccines is also important, because you’re not only putting a foreign substance into your body, but sometimes if you don’t it could harm others. I want to discuss the pros and cons, because many people don’t know the whole story for both sides, and if they chose to get a vaccine or not, they should know what is it, the effects, and its effect on themselves and those around them.

This topic is relevant to STS because the history of science will be discussed when writing about the development of vaccines and progression of certain diseases, along with how society reacted in the progression of events in these topics. The technology piece ties in with the tools that are used to create vaccines, ways vaccines are administered, and the development of objects that can cause the diseases. Society is involved through the discussion of people’s reactions and opinions on the topics.



  1. Introduction
    1. Discuss the common controversies of both
    2. State thesis
  2. First point – Diseases
    1. Cancer
      1. Discuss how cancer can be believed to be man-made
      2. Discuss contrasting evidence to suggest it’s most likely not man-made
        1. Include brief history
  • Discuss how cancer can be related to man-made objects and the real causes of cancer (cigarettes)
    1. Indirectly related cause by people
    2. Suggest ways to help minimize risk of cancer
  1. Diabetes (maybe, if enough room)
    1. Discuss how diabetes is thought to be man-made because people think that it’s linked to vaccines
    2. Discuss contrasting evidence on how diabetes actually came about
  • Discuss ways risk of diagnosis of diabetes can be minimized
  1. Second point – Vaccines
    1. Discuss the ways that vaccines can be bad
      1. Moderate to severe problems that can occur due to vaccines
    2. Discuss the benefits of getting vaccines
      1. Good for individual and those around them from getting certain diseases
      2. Discuss the society impact – how people thought of vaccines when they first came out
        1. History of vaccines
  • Provide data that shows populations with more vaccinations vs populations with less vaccinations and show how those with more vaccinations have a smaller occurrence of the certain diseases.
  1. Wrap-Up
    1. Discuss how despite the small harm, there is many good things coming from vaccines
      1. “Is harm by inaction better than potential harm by taking action?”
    2. Discuss how cancer is not man-made, it is due to a mutation in cells causing them to reproduce excessively.


Arney, K. 2010. Claims that cancer is only a “modern, man-made disease” are false and misleading – Cancer Research UK – Science blog. http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2010/10/14/claims-that-cancer-is-only-a-“modern-man-made-disease”-are-false-and-misleading/.

David, A. R., and M. R. Zimmerman. 2010. Cancer: an old disease, a new disease or something in between? Nature Reviews Cancer 10:728–733.

Elliott, R. B. 2006. Diabetes – A man made disease. Medical Hypotheses 67:388–391.

Moolgavkar, S., E. Luebeck, J. Turim, and R. Brown. 2000. LUNG CANCER RISK ASSOCIATED WITH EXPOSURE TO MAN-MADE FIBERS: EBSCOhost. http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=22&sid=a017729a-c79b-4d11-ae70-6b9f14f3949c%40pdc-v-sessmgr01&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3D%3D#AN=7428584&db=a9h.

Sarkanen, T. O., A. P. E. Alakuijala, Y. A. Dauvilliers, and M. M. Partinen. 2018. Incidence of narcolepsy after H1N1 influenza and vaccinations: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Medicine Reviews 38:177–186.

Timeline | History of Vaccines. (n.d.). . https://www.historyofvaccines.org/timeline.

Torres, M. 2010. Most Modern Day Diseases Are Man-Made. https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_industryweapons125.htm.

Research Project Proposal


Title: Implications of Adaptations and Human Responses to Sea Level Rise

Thesis statement and critical question:

Question: What are the different approaches of adaptation and human action used in response to sea level rise, and what are the issues and implications associated with them?

Thesis statement (tentative): Adaptations and human responses to sea level rise have different benefits and consequences, as well as important environmental and societal implications.

Brief Description:

I plan to overview the different approaches of adaptation being implemented in different areas of the world in response to sea level rise. I will also compare these methods and discuss their benefits and drawbacks, and suggest their most appropriate use from scientific, environmental, and societal perspectives. Sea level rise is a highly important issue that is impacting or will soon impact many cities and many people. Sea level rise is fundamentally a science issue, as it is an effect of climate change. In discussing the actions and adaptations to sea level rise that are being taken, I will examine the highly important role that modern technology plays in this issue, and also investigate the associated societal implications of this technology and of sea level rise in general. I will research the different types of adaptations to sea level rise, and use case studies of different affected areas in order to help examine the scientific and societal benefits, drawbacks, and implications for each method.


Tentative Outline:

  1. Introduction
    1. Problem and effects of sea level rise
    2. Mitigation vs. adaptation
  2. Approaches of adaptation
    1. Sand transfer
    2. Building stilts
    3. Hard engineering (sea walls, etc.)
    4. Natural protection (green infrastructure)
  3. Scientific and societal implications of adaptation strategies
    1. Short term vs. long term solutions
    2. Further environmental impacts
    3. Resulting geologic changes
    4. Relocation/climate refugees
  4. Conclusion
    1. Most important scientific and societal implications
    2. Appropriate conditions for use of each method/most beneficial methods
    3. General future outlook on sea level rise



Chambwera, M., & Geoffrey, H. (2014). Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Retrieved from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change website: http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg2/index.php?idp=627

Kahn, B. (2014, February 3). Adapting to Sea Level Rise Could Save Trillions by 2100. Retrieved April 4, 2018, from Climate Central website: http://www.climatecentral.org/news/adapting-to-sea-level-rise-could-save-trillions-by-2100-17034

MIMURA, N. (2013). Sea-level rise caused by climate change and its implications for society. Proceedings of the Japan Academy. Series B, Physical and Biological Sciences, 89(7), 281–301. http://doi.org/10.2183/pjab.89.281

Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies. (2018). Retrieved April 4, 2018, from California Coastal Commission website: https://www.coastal.ca.gov/climate/slr/vulnerability-adaptation/adaptation/

The Effects of the Nuclear Arms Race on the United States and the Soviet Union During the Cold War

Carter Liou



Critical question: What were the effects of the Nuclear Arms Race on the United States and the Soviet Union?


Thesis:  While the Nuclear Arms race remained predominantly cold, the event itself shows the negative repercussions that weapon technology indirectly had on both the United States and the Soviet Union from a economic, political and societal standpoint.


Brief description: The Nuclear Arms Race is an example of technological advancement fueled solely on fear.  As the different ideologies of the US and the Soviet Union clashed, tensions naturally began to rise.  During World War Two, the United States’ original plan was to develop a nuclear bomb before Germany, however, their first detonation, labeled the Trinity test, ended up occurring two months after the Nazi’s surrendered.  Following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and consequently the end of World War Two, the United States refuse to disclaim their findings in Nuclear weapons, the Soviets received such information from Klaus Fuchs, a physicist who had worked on the Manhattan Project.  With the Soviets able to create their first nuclear weapon, name Joe 1, the race officially began and both countries would go on to invest much of their resources into building their arsenal of nuclear warheads.





  • Brief overview of topic
  • Thesis



  • Paragraph 1:  Origins of nuclear weapons (end/post WW2)
    • World War two and fear of German atomic bomb
    • Use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    • Post World War two regulations on nuclear weapons
      • Atomic Energy Commision
      • Baruch Plan
        • Soviet and US response
  • Paragraph 2:  The 1950s
    • The first hydrogen bomb
    • Sputnik 1
      • American general population reaction
  • Paragraph 3:  The Cuban Missile Crisis
    • Mutual Assured destruction
    • Treaty of nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons
    • Strategic arms limitation talks (SALT 1)
      • Anti Ballistic Missile treaty
    • SALT 2
      • Limits of MIRVs
  • Paragraph 4:  Reagan administration
    • Strategic defense initiative
    • Fall of Soviet Union and end of Cold War
  • Paragraph 5:  How the Arms Race can be held responsible for fall of Soviet Union
    • Economic disaster
    • Further ways nuclear technology corrupted Soviet Union
  • Paragraph 6:  How the Arms Race negatively affected the US
    • Society
      • Bomb shelters
      • Panic among citizens
      • Constant fear of total nuclear war
    • Politics
      • McCarthyism and Second Red scare
      • Corrupt policy decisions
  • Paragraph 7:  What is someone has pressed the button?
    • The idea of nuclear warfare being directly responsible for the destruction of two global superpowers
    • Seeing the negative effects of such technology in a more direct manner
    • Why did no one press the button?



  • Restate thesis
  • Discuss other arms races and current ones
  • Discuss modern day weapon technology




“Cold War Influences on American Culture, Politics, and Economics.” Shad’s Blog, 4 Apr. 2010,tradshad.wordpress.com/writings/cold-war-influences-on-american-culture-politics-and-economics/.


Fuller, John. “How the Nuclear Arms Race Works.” HowStuffWorks Science, HowStuffWorks, 8 Mar. 2018, science.howstuffworks.com/nuclear-arms-race5.htm.


History.com Staff. “Cuban Missile Crisis.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2010, www.history.com/topics/cold-war/cuban-missile-crisis.


“The Soviet-American Arms Race.” History Today, www.historytoday.com/john-swift/soviet-american-arms-race.

Perlo-Freeman, Sam. “Arms Race.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 23 Feb. 2018, www.britannica.com/topic/arms-race.


The Effect of Changing Media on Women

How, and to what extent, have new forms of media changed the perceptions of women?


As science and technology have changed, growing in relevance and importance, they have affected the roles and images of women. Whether it be the era of consumerism, bringing leisure time into the lives of housewives with the assistance of washing machines, or the effect of the availability and distribution of birth control, women lives have been being directly impacted by new technologies. In addition, media has been able to influence the way women have been perceived and valued, causing corsets to transform into surgeries, enabling the achievement of properly feminine and attractive bodies.  


While the general population has shifted from reading magazines, to watching TV, and now to being greatly influenced by social media, women have become represented more equally. With this increased representation has come shifted perceptions about women in education, the workforce, and their overall sexuality and appearance. But have the perceptions changed enough?


  • Working woman
    • Early on newspapers
      • Working woman, on bike–early article HI
      • War efforts
        • Still feminine, temporary, patriotic
    • Still a lack of women represented in STEM
    • TV shows start bringing women into more intense roles–lawyers, detectives, doctors
  • education–today on college brochures
    • College brochures are the first place we start to see women in lab coats
    • In social media we see many more women in school advertisements
    • Greatest improvement, equal representation to men
      • Still not enough in STEM fields
    • The increased awareness of education around the world
  • Sexualization
    • In old newspapers, even while trying to promote a more independent, or working woman, they were still depicted as very feminine, proper, and cute
    • The Melania and Michelle cartoon here also
  • Minorities are still lacking
    • Movies, advertisements, politics
    • Movies like Black Panther and Wonder Woman–very recent progress
    • American Eagle’s models
    • President Obama (and Michelle–how she’s compared to Melania–political cartoon–>still objectified, why weren’t these women compared for activeness? Why are black women still depicted as monkeys? Why does the ideal woman have to have big boobs and long hair?


I will use books, archives and propaganda to research past depictions of women in media. I will also use political cartoons, images and actual adds in order to gain an understanding of how women are depicted today. I will use blogs and other articles to gain a better understanding of how people are portraying women in the media, and how it affects the roles and perceptions of women.

My introduction will introduce general sexism that has been demonstrated and affected through different forms of media. I will use my body paragraphs to break into women in the workforce, education and their general sexuality. I will also discuss the further divide for minority women. To conclude I will be able to note the great progresses that have been made, while addressing the fact that there is still a long way to go in terms of equality. I will tie my conclusion back to my thesis by addressing ways in which media has the potential to drive the continuing push towards true equality.


Modern American Women by Susan Ware

Through Women’s Eyes by Ellen Carol DuBois and Lynn Dumenil

Propaganda analyzation: WWII propaganda (feminine? Pretty? Use Colby’s archives)

Women in Modern America: A Brief History, “The Emergence of the Modern American Woman: The 1890’s” by Banner

Victoria Woodhull, Anthony Comstock, and Conflict over Sex in the United States in the 1870s by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz


https://www.marketingweek.com/2017/03/08/portrayal-women-media/ by Leonie Roderick

Political cartoon of Melania Trump and Michelle Obama

College brochures, websites and ads

http://www.statepress.com/article/2017/10/spopinion-age-of-media-misrepresentation by Heather Cumberledge

Writing Women back into the Code of the Computer Science Field

Research Proposal


Writing Women back into the Code of the Computer Science Field


Critical Question:

How have stereotypes and the marketing of game systems contributed to the decrease of women in computer science?


Thesis Statement:

Stereotypes of gender in computer science and game systems marketing have contributed to the decrease of women in the computer science field, which inhibits women from taking advantage of opportunities and making advancements in computer science.

  Continue reading

Geoengineering: The Boomerang Solution to Climate Change



Geoengineering: The Boomerang Solution to Climate Change


  Critical Question

Why is geoengineering not an effective solution to combating climate change and environmental degradation?



 Although geoengineering could mitigate and reverse certain causes and effects of climate change, there are severe potential repercussions to engineering nature which could, in fact, worsen the climate and environmental crisis.


   Brief Description

       Climate change is the most imminent crisis of our time and drastic action needs to be taken to combat it. Geoengineering is a technology-based solution to climate change and allows humanity to potentially solve the issues of climate change by means of science and technology, rather than by means reducing carbon dioxide output and consumption of goods.  One of the techniques of geoengineering is firing sulfates into the atmosphere to increase earth’s albedo. Higher albedo causes more energy from the sun to be reflected back into space, and in turn, decreases global warming. Geoengineering can also be used for carbon sequestration, a direct response to the surplus of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

      In my paper, I will be addressing how geoengineering could have extremely devastating effects on society and the world in general. Specifically, I will investigate the various potentially negative scientific and social effects of geoengineering. My topic fits under the STS umbrella because I will be investigating the effectiveness of technology in science, particularly geological and environmental science. Furthermore, society plays an exceptionally large role in climate change, and I will be arguing why they should work as a group to combat climate change,  instead of few scientists inventing technology to do so.


 Tentative Outline

        In my introduction I will briefly address how humans are causing climate change and environmental degradation. I will cover what action needs to be taken in order to reverse and mitigate our environmental impact. Next, I will introduce the different ways to decrease environmental impact, one of which is geoengineering. From there, I will explain some of the benefits of geoengineering, and its potential to combat climate change. Finally, I will present a summary of the dangers of geoengineering and state my thesis.

      In my body paragraphs, I will argue why geoengineering is not the solution to climate change. I will first present the various ways geoengineering could fail in terms of its technological functions. I will address how certain technologies could, in fact, worsen climate conditions. For example,  many of the outcomes of geoengineering are unpredictable and there are potentially severe repercussions of intentionally altering a large-scale global system. We have already engineered the climate by pumping carbon dioxide into it, and that has had severe consequences.  Therefore, intentionally altering the climate could prove just as, if not more, horrific. In the next section of my paper I will address the aspects of environmental degradation that geoengineering will not target to the necessary degree, including ocean acidification biodiversity loss. Going off that point I will introduce the “Moral Hazard” and address how geoengineering could reduce other environmental action, as it may seem unnecessary if people think technology can solve environmental issues alone. Based on the previous point I will demonstrate that even if geoengineering were to function as intended, it could still indirectly increase human-driven climate change and environmental degradation.

To conclude my paper I will restate the main points of my argument. I will place a particular emphasis on the question: do we want to let technology control nature? I will state my opinion that no we do not want that, and instead, we need to rely on cutting our carbon emissions and being more environmentally friendly to combat the environment and climate crisis.



Biello, D. (2010, April 06). What Is Geoengineering and Why Is It Considered a Climate Change Solution? Retrieved April 04, 2018, from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/geoengineering-and-climate-change/

Connolly, Kate. (2017, October 14). Geoengineering is not a quick fix for climate change, experts warn Trump. Retrieved April 04, 2018, from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/14/geoengineering-is-not-a-quick-fix-for-climate-change-experts-warn-trump

Ellison, K., E., Waisman, D., Drimonis, T., Visser, N., Weber, B., . . . Dylan Waisman & Tracy Sherlock. (2018, March 30). What on Earth? Why climate change skeptics are backing geoengineering. Retrieved April 04, 2018, from https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/03/30/news/what-earth-why-climate-change-skeptics-are-backing-geoengineering

Krugman, P. (2015, December 04). Republicans’ Climate Change Denial Denial. Retrieved April 04, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/04/opinion/republicans-climate-change-denial-denial.html

Lin, A. C. (2013). Does Geoengineering Present a Moral Hazard? Law: UC Davis. Retrieved April 5, 2018, from https://law.ucdavis.edu/faculty/lin/files/ELQ.MoralHazard.pdf.

Robock, A., Marquard, A., Kravitz, B., & Stenchikov, G. (2009). Benefits, risks, and costs of stratospheric geoengineering. Geophysical Research Letters,36(L19703). Retrieved April 3, 2018, from http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/2009GL039209.pdf

Wingington, D. (n.d.). Geoengineering Dangers Discussed By Officials, Agency Scientists And Other Experts. Retrieved April 04, 2018, from http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/geoengineering-dangers-discussed-by-officials-agency-scientists-and-other-experts/

Radford, T. (2014, December 01). Geoengineering Could Worsen Climate Change. Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/geoengineering-could-worsen-climate-change

Internet Personalities: The New Face of Celebrities? 


Internet Personalities: The New Face of Celebrities?

Critical Question:

Should we consider our favorite internet content creators as celebrities; if so, what makes them celebrated and what influence do they carry in today’s society?

Thesis Statement: 

In the internet age, internet personalities rightfully deserve celebrity status, since they, unlike their Hollywood counterpart, attract millions, if not billions, of views through uncensored, abundant, and relatable content; furthermore, denying celebrity status to internet personalities grossly underestimates the influence he or she has on their audience.

Brief Description:  

Who are your favorite celebrities? Brad Pitt? Tom Hanks? Scarlett Johansson? If you google search, “list of celebrities,” an entire index of famous people, from Ringo Starr to Arnold Schwarzenegger, are found. Often when we think of a celebrity in the entertainment industry, we imagine a famous movie star who dominates Hollywood, or a rock star who sells millions of albums. Meanwhile, the internet personality, the dark horse of the entertainment industry, is basically pegged below celebrity status but above “commoner” status. This latter statement doesn’t make sense, because thousands of content creators attract millions, if not billions, of views. I discuss that the “Hollywood” celebrity is currently being substituted by the internet personality. Unlike Hollywood producers, internet personalities can create uncensored, cheap content. Furthermore, there is no façade between an internet personality and his or her audience, unlike an actor who’s always in the limelight. It is the combination of uncensored, cheap content and a relatable personality, among other things, that position internet personalities as the nouveau celebrity. Lastly, I will briefly discuss the reach internet personalities have on their audiences. Uncensored, cheap content is a double-edged sword. The subject of my research addresses the society and technology aspect of the STS field.

Tentative Outline: 

My introduction will begin with a brief brainstorm of celebrities. Often Hollywood movie stars or rock stars are the celebrities, while internet personalities lie in a gray area of fame. I will argue that internet content creators are usurping those in the limelight through uncensored, cheap content and a relatable personality.

I will begin my body paragraphs by defining the term celebrity. What does it mean to be celebrated? Then, I might include examples of celebrities from recent history and the medium in which they reached their audience. I will then transition into our modern means of media, the internet. The internet, unlike any technology in history, allows for immediate communication between users. Furthermore, to create a video on the internet, on a website such as YouTube, does not require millions of dollars and hundreds of staff to produce. Internet personalities, compared to their Hollywood counterpart, can produce content cheaply and abundantly. It’s small wonder that memes and other content on the internet burn out quickly; despite this, the content from internet personalities provide a steady, frequent stream of entertainment to audiences. Not only is this content abundant, internet personalities are virtually uncensored. For example, the hosts of the popular reality TV series, Top Gear, were limited by the BBC’s policies for public broadcasting. Now, as the hosts transitioned to Amazon with their new series, The Grand Tour, there are less limitations. The sandbox nature of the internet allows content creators to satisfy any niche, while traditional TV is limited by what can be “advertisable.”

I will also discuss the relationship between an internet content provider and his or her audience. An actor or rock star must be extremely talented or lucky to reach the limelight. Moreover, the limelight creates a barrier between the celebrity and the audience. The audience cannot relate to a star in the limelight compared to an internet personality who creates vlogs about his or her life on a fifty dollar camera.

Lastly, I will discuss the influence of internet personalities today. Cheap, uncensored content is a double-edged sword. Internet personalities must be responsible for the content they post online. By incorporating recent examples of irresponsible content, such as Logan Paul’s suicide video, I will argue that internet personalities should be held to the same standard as today’s celebrities.


Choi, Chong Ju, and Ron Berger. “Ethics of Celebrities and Their Increasing Influence in 21st Century Society.” Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 91, no. 3, 2010, pp. 313–318. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/27749800.

Juhasz, Alexandra. “Learning the Five Lessons of Youtube: After Trying to Teach There, I Don’t Believe the Hype.” Cinema Journal, vol. 48, no. 2, 2009, pp. 145–150. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/20484456.

Keslassy, Elsa. “Cannes: Thierry Fremaux Explains Fest’s Thinking on Red Carpet Selfie Ban, Netflix Policy and #Metoo.” Variety, 24 Mar. 2018, http://variety.com/2018/film/news/cannes-film-festival-thierry-fremaux-red-carpet-selfies-1202735264/.

Maltby, John, et al. “Personality and Coping: A Context for Examining Celebrity Worship and Mental Health.” British Journal of Psychology, Wiley/Blackwell (10.1111), 24 Dec. 2010, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1348/0007126042369794.


The unfounded fear of Machine Learning

Title: The unfounded fear of machine learning


Critical Question: What are the uses of machine learning and what are the potential consequences of this new technology.


Thesis: Though there is many who are frightened of machine learning, these fears are largely unfounded and can be alleviated through a deeper understanding of what machine learning actually does and by looking at historical examples of new technology that is initially resisted, but becomes integral to society.


Brief Description/outline:

 As brief overview, machine learning is when a computer is given a large set of data and then evolves to become progressively better and better at a task, effectively becoming as good as or better than humans at certain tasks. As I began looking into machine learning, it became clear that one of the biggest concerns that people have with the wider acceptance of machine learning is that they fear their jobs will be displaced by computers. My thesis to my paper is that this is an unfounded concern and the advantages of machine learning far outweigh the concerns. I hope to prove this by describing what machine learning actually does and providing historical examples of past technologies people perceived as endangering their livelihoods and how the technology ended up doing more good than bad.

This is an important topic to research because machine learning is still a young technology. Most people do not know what this technology actually is and fear malignant robots taking over society. Through my paper, I hope to alleviate these concerns and end up supporting the acceptance of machine learning. When the mystique around the topic is taken away, machine learning is almost boring in its simplicity. But the culmination of millions of simple data points can be something impressive and incredibly powerful. This is the driving concept behind machine learning and what most people understand. They imagine a computer getting smarter and smarter until it gains consciousness and revolt against their creators. Through describing the fundamentals of this potentially scary technology, the fear will go away and its advantages will be revealed. Through historical accounts, I hope to show that new technology that was initially met with resistance eventually became an invaluable part of society. In particular, I will look at the luddites during the industrial revolution and others in more modern times. This my attempt at creating precedent and once again proving machine learning’s merits.

This topic is intimately connected to STS because it touches each totem of STS. It is a scientific issue because new discoveries are being made with the use of machine learning. It is a technological issue because machine learning is a new technology still being created and adopted. Lastly, it is a societal issue because machine learning has the potential to affect all our our lives in significant ways in fewer years than we may think.

My research paper will focus on the advent of machine learning and its effects on society as well as the response to it. It is obvious machine learning is a valuable technology that will do more harm than good when one looks at what machine learning actually is and what it is already doing for society and by looking at historical examples of technologies that were met with resistance and became invaluable.



Jain, Kunal, Faizan Shaikh, Pranav Dar, and Tavish Srivastava. “Machine Learning Basics For A Newbie | Machine Learning Applications.” Analytics Vidhya. September 24, 2015. https://www.analyticsvidhya.com/blog/2015/06/machine-learning-basics/.


Hinton, Geoffrey, Dean, Jeff, and Oriol. “Distilling the Knowledge in a Neural Network.” [1503.02531v1] Distilling the Knowledge in a Neural Network. March 09, 2015. https://arxiv.org/abs/1503.02531v1.


Conniff, Richard. “What the Luddites Really Fought Against.” Smithsonian.com. March 01, 2011. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-the-luddites-really-fought-against-264412/.


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