2020-11-9 Seminar: Federica Bianco

DiRAC is pleased to welcome Federica Bianco to the department (virtually) to give a DiRAC Seminar on Monday Nov 9 at 10am PST. 

DiRAC Seminars are appropriate for students and researchers at all levels who are interested in astronomy and/or data science, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Beyond the stars: good and bad ways to use our science training to make a better world

Astrophysicists’ claims to fame include practicing one of the oldest professions in the world and having invented data science. By necessity, astrophysicists work next to the data, observing rather than experimenting, and astrophysics taps on our innate curiosity to understand who we are and what is our place in the world that surrounds us. Because of this, those claims have some merits and the involvement of astrophysicists in social problems has a long history. However, reaching beyond your field can be controversial and complex, and today there is a divisive narrative that opposes “staying in your lane” to “using your skills for good.” In this talk, I will share my experience at the interface of astrophysics, data science, and public policy and lessons learned about good and bad ways to use science and data skills to make a better world. I will talk about astrophysics, Urban Science, COVID-19, data ethics, and pedagogy.