The energy detector, developed as part of the OnSupply research partnership with the Tiree community in the Hebrides, Scotland.

“How can we support the next generation of computing professionals with the deliberative, technical, and critical skills necessary to tell the difference between what is worth pursuing  – in research, education, government, and industry – from what is potentially harmful to self and society?”

At ViC we are interested in understanding how digital technologies come to life more than in understanding how digital technologies may change people’s lives.  That is, while there is value in the latter, we value the former more.

After several years of working on projects  focusing on the development of digital tools for social change, personalised health IoT, and assistive technology,  staff from the   School of Computing at Lancaster University, UK  and the HCI Group, TUW,  Vienna – jointly organized a  workshop at CHI2017. The workshop stemmed from research that identified the need to look deeply into the values (vs Ethics) in computing.

For this, we started the search for methods  that could give equal exposure to both easier (e.g. monetary value) and less easy to quantify (‘human’)  values. Some perceived our call as a rather ‘positivist’ approach to the study of the emergent nature of values. We responded to such critique by making it clear that, precisely because we distance ourselves from reductionist approaches to the study of human nature, we  uncompromisingly support the search for a scientific understanding of values.