Andrew J Webster Annual Lecture on Science, Technology and Society

To commemorate the life and work of Professor Andrew Webster, the Department of Sociology and SATSU established an annual lecture series that will showcase research in the broadly conceived area of science, technology and society. 

Professor in the Sociology of Science at the University of York since 1999, Andrew was the founder and director of the Science and Technology Studies Unit, which he established originally at Anglia Ruskin University in 1988. 

He was Head of the Department of Sociology at York between 2004-2009 and then the Dean of Social Sciences. He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Science in 2007. 

Read more about Andrew’s career and his huge impact on the academic community and beyond. 

The 2024 lecture

The organised irresponsibility of artificial intelligence

Speaker: Professor Jack Stilgoe, University College London

Date: Thursday 5 September 2024

Location: To be confirmed

As the promises of artificial intelligence attract growing social, political and financial attention, risks and responsibilities are being imagined in ways that serve the interests of a technoscientific elite. In the UK and elsewhere, organisations are starting to institutionalise a mode of governance that presumes to know and take care of public concerns. And new research communities are forming around questions of AI ’safety’ and ‘alignment’. In this talk, I will draw on research into public and expert attitudes and reflect on my role as a proponent, analyst and actor in debates about ‘Responsible AI’.