Beyond the Ivory Tower

Workshop with Professor Evan Selinger, Rochester Institute of Technology.

This workshop will be a collaborative exploration of how academic researchers can actively connect with, learn from, and make an impact on those beyond the ivory tower. In an age where technological advancements are rapidly reshaping society, scholars who research technology must step out from behind their desks and actively participate in shaping how these changes are implemented and understood. It is not only an ethical imperative that we bring our specialized knowledge into conversations where it can make a difference but also a practical one. The rigours of real-world applications and feedback from non-academics with relevant expertise and experience can productively challenge our assumptions and sharpen our insights. By engaging with these people and perspectives, we can not only amplify the reach of our research but also enrich it by better grounding our theories in the nuanced realities of everyday life.

To facilitate discussion, I’ll share my extensive experiences collaborating with activists, tech companies, lawyers, and editors of major newspapers and magazines. Together, we will explore proven strategies for effective communication, fostering mutually beneficial partnerships, and navigating the inevitable challenges that arise when bridging the gap between academia and the wider world. Participants will be equipped with practical tools and insights for expanding the impact of their research and engaging meaningfully with diverse communities beyond the confines of the university setting.


Evan Selinger is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the Rochester Institute of Technology. His research covers a range of issues in the philosophies of technology, especially privacy and ethics (including AI ethics). 

A prolific author, Prof. Selinger is currently working on a new book (co-authored with Albert Fox-Cahn), titled Move Slow and Upgrade: The Power of Incremental Innovation (Cambridge University Press). His previous book is Re-Engineering Humanity (co-authored with Brett Frischmann, Cambridge University Press).

Prof. Selinger regularly writes for newspapers, magazines, and blogs to foster critical conversations beyond the necessary yet narrow academic circles. He’s currently a contributing writer at The Boston Globe. His essays and op-eds also appear in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wired, The Atlantic, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, The Guardian, Forbes, and HuffPost (to name a few).

To improve military policy, Prof. Evan Selinger is currently a member of the Institute for Defense Analysis’s Ethical, Legal, and Social/Societal (ELSI) Working Group, contributing to DARPA-funded projects that use artificial intelligence.

To enhance public policy, Prof. Selinger works with legal and advocacy organizations like the ACLU, Stop Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, The Justice Collaborative Institute, and Fight for the Future.

Prof. Selinger has also advised several companies, non-profits, and government organizations.


Sign up by emailing Sille Obelitz Søe before 11 June 11 2024.

Readings will be shared with participants before the workshop

The workshop is funded by the DFF project Absence of information in decision-making processes (ABSENCE).