Virginia Eubanks delivers 2020 Richard B. Lippin Lecture in Ethics
In her lecture, Eubanks expanded on the themes of her book “Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor,” which investigates the impacts of data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models on poor and working-class people in America.
She was joined for a panel discussion after the talk by Sarah Rajtmajer (research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute and assistant professor of information sciences and technology) and Pamela VanHaitsma (Sherwin Early Career Professor in the Rock Ethics Institute and assistant professor of communication arts and sciences and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, and interim director of Center for Humanities and Information). The event was moderated by Daniel Susser (research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute and assistant professor of information sciences and technology and philosophy).
Presented virtually, Eubank’s lecture and the panel discussion can be seen here.
Eubanks is an associate professor of political science at the University at Albany, SUNY, whose work on social justice and technology has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, NPR, BBC, and elsewhere. “Automatic Inequality” received the 2018 McGannon Center Book Prize and was shortlisted for the Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice.
Co-sponsors for this year’s Lippin Lecture included the Center for Humanities and Information; the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications; the McCourtney Institute for Democracy; and Penn State University Libraries. The McCourtney Institute interviewed Eubanks during a recent episode of its Democracy Works podcast.
The Richard B. Lippin Lectureship in Ethics was made possible by support from Richard B. Lippin and the late Ronnie Lippin. The annual event focuses on current ethical issues in the fields of business, medicine, science, and technology, as well as questions of justice. Richard Lippin is a 1968 Penn State graduate in psychology who established the lectureship with his late wife because he felt that much of the integrity and honesty that he knew growing up now seems lacking in the world of business. His company, the Los Angeles-based Lippin Group, does marketing consulting for the entertainment industry.