18 Jan 2019

Keynote Speaker Highlight: Kadija Ferryman

OpenCon Cascadia is just two short weeks away. This will be the first regional convening of people in the Pacific NW engaged in the topic of open scholarship. Our goal is get to know the local community as we work together to build an inclusive, collaborative community around open access to knowledge. This community spans all disciplines, encompassing all of the researchers who work in our region – from education and the humanities to biomedicine and clinical research. If you are interested in improving humanity’s access to knowledge, this is the conference for you!

Another goal central to our mission is to provide a space where the social structures and hierarchies around research can be examined and rebuilt to create a more open and equitable culture in support of the pursuit of knowledge. This is why we are so honored to host Dr. Kadija Ferryman as our closing keynote speaker.

Dr. Kadija Ferryman is a 2018-19 Mozilla Fellow for Science and researcher at Data & Society. With a background in cultural anthropology, Dr. Ferryman studies health risks as a social, cultural, and ethical phenomenon. Specifically, her research examines the impacts of health risk prediction through information technologies such as genomics digital medical records and artificial intelligence on marginalized groups.

In an era in which more and more important decisions are made with the assistance of big data and machine learning algorithms, we need researchers like Dr. Ferryman to question and evaluate the biases and ethical implications that come with automation. Blindly adding technology to systems that are inherently inequitable without considering the impact those technologies will have on our society, will only make marginalization more efficient and legitimize its existence.

The Fairness in Precision Medicine team led by Dr. Ferryman has shed light on some of the problems that are emerging at the intersection of technology, AI, and medicine. With the excitement of AI assisted diagnosis and therapy recommendations, come risks that bias in software will become bias in the clinic – all under the guise of perfect, unbiased algorhythms. As our region is a center of innovation in technology, healthcare, and research, it’s a critical time for our community to hear Dr. Ferryman’s perspective on the future of technology in healthcare.

Don’t miss the opportunity to engage with local members of the open scholarship, clinical research, public interest technology, and other local communities at Dr. Ferryman’s talk and throughout the entire OpenCon Cascadia program.

Register for OpenCon Cascadia here. For questions – email openconcascadia@gmail.com.

Listen to Dr. Ferryman talk about data ethics and her career here. Read more about Dr. Ferryman and her work on her website.