Green Lecture: Technology, Nature and Society: Seeing the Social in the Materials of Everyday Life

Wednesday, December 11, Dr. Chelsea Schelly, Assistant Professor, Michigan Tech Department of Social Sciences presented a Green Film/Lecture event at the Forestry Building. Read the Daily Mining Gazette news article about the lecture

Following is the abstract about the Lecture: The technologies that we use in our everyday life – from electricity and transportation technologies, to cell phones and computers, to foods – impact the environment and the ways we relate to one another and to our communities. These technologies also shape the social and political organization of our society. We learn what “normal” life is, through our interactions with the materials that make life possible and comfortable. However, our use of those materials is shaped, and often limited, by factors outside our control, such as the policies that influence their use. In this talk, I will present some of the reasons people adopt alternative technologies (related to broad lifestyle choices and the policies that influence our choices) and some of the potential implications of these alternative technologies for how we meet our material needs and comforts. By recognizing that these technologies have social implications, we can begin to question how to best use these technologies to promote sustainable communities.

About Dr. Chelsea Schelly:
Dr. Chelsea Schelly received her PhD from the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Social Sciences at Michigan Tech. Her work is inspired by the belief that the technological systems used to sustain residential life, shape how humans view their relationship to the natural world and to one another. Schelly’s research explores how technological systems interact with society to influence human-nature relationships and human activities. Her talk will look at the ways alternative technologies– from solar panels to 3-D printers –challenge the political, economic, and environmental consequences of those systems. She was recently interviewed by Dutch newspaper Weekendavisen about the social implications of 3D printing.

Cosponsored by:
Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Michigan Tech Dept. of Social Sciences, Michigan Tech Center for Water & Society, Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and Keweenaw Land Trust

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