Participant Support Costs for Workshop: Confronting and Mitigating the Negative Broader Impacts of Computing

  • Hecht, Brent (PD/PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The ACM Future of Computing Academy (FCA) recently published a proposal that argued that the computing research community needs to much more seriously confront the negative impacts of our innovations. To ensure that this more serious confrontation occurs, the FCA proposal argued for incremental changes to incentive structures in computing research, focusing on how we evaluate the quality of research. Specifically, the proposal recommended that “[Evaluators of research should] require that papers and proposals rigorously consider all reasonable broader impacts, both positive and negative.” The short-term goal of the FCA proposal was to start a discussion in the computing community about identifying means to confront and mitigate the negative impacts of computing innovation. The proposal was clearly successful in this goal. The proposal has been viewed on the order of 9,000 times. It has also gained visibility through promotion by leaders across computing and it has spurred reflection blog posts by a number of prominent scholars. From these many discussions, it is abundantly clear that the computing community has a tremendous desire to find ways to bend the arc of computing innovation towards fewer negative impacts and more positive impacts. However, to do so, a more formal and more general venue for discussion is clearly needed, with the idea of hosting a physical meeting being a common suggestion in the conversations around the FCA proposal. Based on this feedback, the authors of the FCA proposal are proposing to host a two-day workshop with the aim of advancing the conversation started by the FCA proposal. Our workshop has three co-equal objectives, each of which was a common theme in the discussions surrounding the initial FCA proposal: (1) Determine the most effective approaches for using the research evaluation process to confront and mitigate the negative impacts of computing research, (2) determine additional approaches that can be effective in confronting and mitigating these negative impacts, and (3) improve our capacity to understand and predict computing research impact through visioning activities and the development of a research agenda. Workshop participants will be comprised of both computing researchers (75%) and experts on the societal impacts of new technologies (25%). The first day of the workshop will target our third objective and the second day will target the first two objectives.
Effective start/end date10/1/189/30/21


  • National Science Foundation (IIS-1841993)


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.