Toward Responsible Data Stewardship

Erik Johnston

Erik Johnston

Abstract: This talks looks at the use of data in modeling and is grounded in the lessons learned from a series of major, collaboratively developed research projects at the Decision Theater. An emphasis is placed on the value of collaborative modeling, translating evidence to practice, and the ethical obligations of data stewards and researchers.

Biography: Associate Professor Erik Johnston, PhD. Dr. Johnston is an Associate Professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the Director of Policy Informatics at the Decision Theater at Arizona State University. Johnston’s research focuses on open governance and policy informatics, the study of how computational and communication technology is leveraged to specifically understand and and realize innovations in communities, governance processes, and information interventions. At its simplest, his work tries to reduce the gaps between knowledge creation and use. Johnston earned a Ph.D. in Information and Complex System Certificate from the University of Michigan where he was a two-time NSF IGERT fellow. He holds an M.B.A. and an M.S. in Information Technology as well as a B.S. in Psychology and Computer Science from the University of Denver. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Helios Foundation, Arizona Board of Regents, American Academy of Diplomacy, US Army, and Virginia G. Piper Trust.

Data stewardship in a multilateral world

Beckett Sterner

Beckett Sterner

Title: Data stewardship in a multilateral world

Abstract: What are the limits to a centralized approach for biodiversity data? I review some important costs to assuming a single, authoritative database or ontology can adequately support data discovery, integration, and scientific advances simultaneously. I then describe important future challenges to proving the value of a decentralized approach to data stewardship.

Biography: Beckett Sterner studies how mathematics is transforming biology, including biodiversity data aggregation, evolution of biological individuality, evolutionary tempo and mode, and methodology in systematic biology. He came to ASU in 2016 as an assistant professor in the Biology and Society Program and affiliated faculty in philosophy.

He started his career working in a computational biology lab studying protein function during college at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and then switched to doing history and philosophy of science for his doctorate at the University of Chicago. He was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the Field Museum in Chicago (2012-2014) and a postdoctoral fellow with the University of Michigan Society of Fellows (2014-2016).