Global North Team

Aaron Gregory is an Editor for the 4S Backchannels, and an Assistant Professor of Native American Studies (NAS) at Cal Poly Humboldt with a research focus situated at the nexus of Science & Technology Studies (STS), Critical Infrastructure Studies, and Indigenous Studies. Dr. Gregory is developing a Center for Science & Technology Studies (CSTS) and an interdisciplinary graduate program that places Western modes of planning/engineering in communication with Indigenous knowledges to address a range of socio-technical and environmental issues. His current research and forthcoming book attends to the articulations of renewable energy, Indigeneity and technopolitical statecraft. He holds a PhD from UC Berkeley (2022) with prior research exploring the postcolonial infrastructures of #landback, and the role of technology in shaping race, place and power. Dr. Gregory is a member of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community, described as 'extremely offline' by his students, an avid mountain trail runner and backcountry skier, and a critically engaged contributor to the 4S community.

Xan Chacko is a Lecturer in Science, Technology, and Society at Brown University. She is a feminist STS scholar who engages the production, maintenance, and practices of knowledge in natural science. Her current book, provisionally titled, The Last Seed: Colonial Legacies and Botanic Futures situates the emergence of cryogenic seed banking as a response to catastrophic species loss of plant life in the twentieth century. Xan is a co-editor (with Jenny Bangham and Judith Kaplan) of Invisible Labour in Modern Science (August 2022), which is a collection of vignettes that capture the varied elisions and omissions of humans, practices, and power in the making of science. Xan convenes ecofemspec, a monthly Ecofeminist Speculative Fiction Book Club, and has been an editor for Backchannels since 2019.

Richard Fadok is a postdoctoral fellow in the Humanities Center at the University of Rochester. Richard is an anthropologist of design and multispecies ethnographer whose research explores how the built environment mediates human-nonhuman relations. He is currently working on two book projects, one on biomimicry and another on habitecture, or architecture for animals. His writing has appeared, or will soon appear, in The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Domus, Noema, Platypus, Teaching and Learning Anthropology, and the edited volume Nature Remade. Between 2022 and 2023, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Wolf Humanities Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Richard received a PhD in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2021); an MSc in Biomedicine, Bioscience, and Society from the London School of Economics (2012); and a BS in neuroscience and STS from Brown University (2011).

Catriona (Cat) Gray is a final year doctoral candidate at the University of Bath’s CDT in Accountable, Responsible and Transparent AI. She works across sociology, politics, and law to examine the adoption and regulation of (data-dependent) AI technologies. Cat’s research interests encompass themes including: knowledge production and exchange in AI; regulatory governance; the concept of risk; and AI in mobility, displacement and humanitarian governance. Much of her work draws heavily on social theory, including emancipatory and critical realist approaches. She holds degrees in law, sociology, and forced migration studies, and has professional experience in digital rights advocacy and policymaking.

Gökçe Önal is a doctoral candidate at TU Delft Faculty of Architecture, with the research group Borders & Territories. She has taught at METU (2013–16) and at TU Delft (2017–21) and contributed to TU Delft’s MOOC portal as a course developer (2017–19). She is currently an assistant editor for 4S Backchannels. Gökçe’s research departs from an interest in the accelerating regime of image production and screen labor in architecture, and investigates the performative component of electronic images in the production of spatial knowledge. Attending to the question what images do from within the infrastructures of sensing Earth, her work seeks a productive ground between elemental media theory, STS, and architecture studies.

Ludovico Rella is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Geography at Durham University, in the ERC research project Algorithmic Societies. His PhD focused on cross-border payments and blockchain technologies. He currently studies the infrastructural materiality of AI, and AI for economic policy making. He published in the Journal of Cultural Economy, Political Geography, and Big Data & Society, and authored chapters in books published by Elsevier, Springer, and Manchester University Press.

Global South Team

Joseph Satish Vedanayagam is Assistant Professor, Department of Management Studies, Saveetha Engineering College (Autonomous), Chennai. He has a PhD in Science, Technology & Society Studies (STS) from the University of Hyderabad, India. Joseph’s PhD research explored the relation between the missionary spirituality and the scientific activities of Jesuit priests in southern India. His writings on science, society and rural livelihoods have appeared on various online media and in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Rural DevelopmentArcadia and Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences. At Backchannels, Joseph helps to coordinate the editorial work of the editors of the Global South and North teams. Joseph has degrees in Electronics Engineering and in Rural Management, and has worked in the information technology industry as well as the non-profit sector.

Shashank Deora is a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA) of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay. His doctoral research involves looking at watershed landscapes’ emergence as infrastructures in urbanising regions of India. His research concerns how watersheds as infrastructures are constructed and maintained to deliver certain functions and services to certain groups and individuals while leaving out others. Before joining his doctoral research, Shashank worked with the VikasAnvesh Foundation (VAF), a research organisation in India. At VAF, he engaged in primary research on land and water resource management and governance in central India. From 2014 to 2018, Shashank was associated with Professional Assistance for Development Action, working with the women collectives in rural areas in the Chhattisgarh state of India to promote alternate livelihoods.

Mariana Pitta Lima is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Integration of Data and Knowledge for Health (CIDACS), in Salvador, Brazil. She holds a PhD and a M.A. in Public Health from the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. Her dissertation addressed reproductive technologies related to obstetric care in a Brazilian maternity hospital, including the analysis of the hospital itself, where this health care is provided, as a gendered technology from a feminist STS perspective. She was granted a scholarship to pursue a research internship at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France (2018-2019). Her research currently focuses on social aspects related to the production of research and health data during the Zika epidemic in Brazil. In addition, her main research interests include STS and Health, Feminist STS, Digital Health, STS in Latin America, and Health Data, Society, and Epidemics.

Eugene Arnaud Yombo Sembe holds PhD in Political Science from the University of Yaoundé II, Cameroon, and was a Postdoctorate fellow from the University of Cape Town, working on Artificial Intelligence and future health, a project sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation of New York. At HUMA, his research was focused on analysing how particular uses of artificial intelligence in Cameroon contribute to the protection of human life while at the same time accompanying and correcting what is framed as ‘human deficiencies’. He has been a guest researcher at the University of Nantes, France, and the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden. Eugene also collaborates with Institut de recherche pour le developpement (IRD), Centre population et developpement (CEPED) and the University of Paris Descartes on the SAFIRE project targeting research funding in the Sahel. He was a senior policy analyst on governance and democracy at the Nkafu Policy Institute in Cameroon and the African Ambassador of the International Association of Political Science Students (IAPSS). Eugene is now working in Malawi as Regional Manager, Francophone Africa for the Africa Integrity Indicators, a project funded by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation that collect data to inform the Mo Ibrahim Index on Governance in Africa.

Guilherme Cavalcante Silva is a PhD Student at the Graduate Program in Science and Technology Studies at York University, Canada. His doctoral research involves how notions of development, underdevelopment, and dependency circulate and are constituted within AI policy and AI research in Brazil. His current interests involve topics such as artificial intelligence, knowledge production, sociology of expectations, and science policy in the Global South. He is currently an Assistant Editor for 4S Backchannels (Global South team). With a background in Journalism and science communication, Guilherme worked as a science journalist as part of the FAPESP José Reis Program for the Encouragement of Scientific Journalism (MídiaCiência) at the Department of Science and Technology Policy, State University of Campinas. He also earned a MA in Science Communication from the same university and a BA in Journalism from Brazil Adventist University.

Auriane van der Vaeren: My professional life started at 21 years of age as management assistant in a lawyers’ firm, providing administrative assistance and performing clerical work. A crucial step in providing me with the necessary self-esteem to engage in a BSc in Chemistry at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), from which I graduated in 2019. After working in the field and acquiring more self-knowledge, I redirected myself towards the social sciences—a means of aligning my professional prospects to my instinctual interests one could say. In 2022, I thus graduated from an MA in Science & Technology Studies at the University of Vienna (Austria), during which I obtained a scholarship by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy for excellent academic achievements. My thesis dissertation had a speculative interest; it looked at the EU’s (proposed) regulatory approach to the case of political deepfakes and explored how a different ontology could result in a mode of regulation that actually endorses public trust in public institutions. Today, I pursue my research interests from Bangkok (Thailand) guided by an unconditional curiosity for the incidence of technology and policy on information ecosystems.

Shu Wan is currently matriculated as a doctoral student in history at the University at Buffalo. As a digital and disability historian, he serves in the editorial team of Digital Humanities Quarterly and Nursing Clio. On Twitter: @slissw.