Brown joins world leaders in science and technology at STS forum

Friday, October 2, 2015

Joe Brown is headed to Japan next for the STS forum 2015, a gathering of science and technology leaders to discuss the implications of rapidly advancing technology on society and ensuring equal access to the benefits of those advances. Brown is one of a handful of "young leaders" from the United States invited to the forum. (Photo: Joe Brown)

Joe Brown is headed to Japan Oct. 4 at the invitation of a select group of leaders in science and technology.

He’s joining a small handful of “young leaders” from the United States at the STS forum 2015, a gathering of scholars, policy makers, and business leaders to talk about, as organizers put it, “the new types of problems stemming from the application of science and technology” in our society.

“The STS forum is a rare opportunity to engage with global policymakers and leading thinkers in a range of fields I wouldn't normally be exposed to,” said Brown, an assistant professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “I'm sure the experience will provide valuable context for my research, which intersects with several other disciplines.”

The forum was created in 2004 to foster conversation about the implications of rapidly advancing science and technology on the global community as well as the barriers that prevent significant parts of the world’s population from enjoying the benefits of that progress.

“All the great problems of the world are inherently interdisciplinary — they require researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders to pull in the same direction,” Brown said. “These types of meetings can create connections that may well be valuable in translating ideas into action.

“This meeting is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to global scientific dialogue on some of the most challenging issues affecting the world, including climate change, growing economic inequality, and — my own interest — control of infectious diseases. As an engineer, I hope to bring an applied focus to discussions about how the built environment influences health and well-being.”