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Technoscientific Economies

Technoscience is thoroughly entangled with our economies, incentivizing the development of certain technologies at the expense of others (e.g. autonomous vehicles over public transit). This Thematic Cluster will focus on the ways that economic processes shape technological innovation and how technologies shape the economy.

Thematic Cluster Lead: Professor Kean Birch

Dr. Kean Birch is Director of the Institute for Technoscience & Society, as well as a Professor in the Graduate Program in Science and Technology Studies at York University, Canada. He's interested in how ‘things’ – ranging from personality through knowledge to personal data – are turned into assets; that is, into techno-economic entities whose value is derived from the capitalization of future revenue streams and the extraction/exaction of ‘durable economic rents’. Current research focuses on personal data, Big Tech, and other digital technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence, Blockchain, etc.) and previous research has looked at biotechnology, biofuels, infrastructure, and low-carbon technologies.


Associate Member

Dr. Anna Artyushina is a Science & Technology Studies (STS) and public policy scholar who is specializes in the governance of emerging technologies: smart cities, data trusts, and biometric technologies. She has a PhD in STS from York University and a Postdoctoral Researcher at Toronto Metropolitan University.

Dr. Kelly Bergstrom is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at York University. Dr. Bergstrom’s research examines drop out and disengagement from digital cultures, with a focus on digital games and social media. She has recently embarked on a new project about how work/life balance has been transformed by the COVID pandemic.

Dr. Mahtot Gebresselassie is an Assistant Professor at Environmental and Urban Change (EUC). Her research interest focuses on smart mobility and equitable transportation for people with disabilities and low-income earners.

Dr. Markus Giesler is a consumer culture theorist and Professor of Marketing at the Schulich School of Business at York University. His research examines how markets dynamically shape human behaviour, often in the context of new technologies. His current research focuses on consumer artificial intelligence, responsibilization, and surveillance.

Associate Member

Dr. Hassan is an Assistant Professor in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, USA. Previously, he was Illinois Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Associate in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA, and a research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, USA. His research examines the relationship between race, digital technology, and technoscientific capitalism. Dr. Hassan’s work is at the intersection of social and racial justice, and technology policy focusing on the social, economic, and political implications of emerging technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) and data. His most recent project investigates the sociotechnical knowledge production practices of the state, scientists, and the tech industry focusing on the development of AI and its innovation ecosystem across multiple African countries.      

Dr. Joanna Robinson is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and the School of Public and International Affairs, Glendon Campus. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of social movements, climate change, labour and inequality, environmental and social justice. She has published books, journal articles and book chapters on social movements, climate change, environmental politics and labour, including the recently published Routledge Handbook on the Green New Deal. Her work was recognized by the Glendon Principal’s Award for Research.

Dr. Antulio Rosales is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Science, Business and Society program, at York University. His research interests focuses on international and comparative political economy, natural resource extraction/environmental politics, and global development. Antulio's new research agenda is concerned with the expansion of emerging financial assets such as cryptocurrencies and their linkage to energy infrastructures and political incentives in the Global South. His current research project deals with the infrastructure, energy, and policy incentives for the expansion of cryptocurrencies in Latin America, especially in Venezuela, El Salvador, Argentina, and Puerto Rico.

Dr. Yan Shvartzshnaider is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Lassonde School of Engineering at York University. He leads the the Privacy Rhythm Research Lab that develops privacy-enhancing methodologies and tools to help incorporate a socially meaningful conception of privacy which meets peoples' expectations and is ethically defensible.

Graduate Member

Orçun Turan is a consumer culture theory scholar interested in the social and cultural dimensions of consumption, particularly the intersecting axes of inequality such as race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. They are currently a PhD student in marketing at Schulich School of Business, York University, where their research focuses on the interlocked nature of biomedical consumption, knowledge, innovation, and stigma.

Dr. James Williams is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Science at York University and a member of the undergraduate program in Criminology and the graduate programs in Sociology and Socio-Legal Studies. He is interested in the intersections between technology, finance, and regulation as well as the impact of finance (and emerging forms of assetization) on the social and public sector. James is also working on developing a new research project on supply chain digitization and its implications for the regulation of corporate supply chains.