All technology has unanticipated consequences—good, bad and often a mix of both. How might we maximize the benefits of technology if we consider societal impact in all our technological decisions? The unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the urgency to harness technology as a force of good and has demonstrated the sometimes-deadly consequences of failing to do so.

From disease modeling to contract tracing to global supply chains and from online education equity and social inequality to climate change, experts from Rice University and other U.S. academic institutions explore the power of technology applied for social good. This course is offered in conjunction with Rice University’s Initiative on Technology, Culture and Society, exploring the dynamic interactions among technology, culture and society, and how society should respond to the unexpected impacts of technological change.

Oct. 5. “The Intersection of Technology, Culture and Society Amidst Pandemic and Change.” Moshe Vardi, Ph.D., University Professor, Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor, Computational Engineering, Rice University

Oct. 12. “Predicting and Analyzing Pandemics.” Madhav Marathe, Ph.D., professor, Department of Computer Science; Distinguished Professor in Biocomplexity, Biocomplexity Institute and Initiative, University of Virginia

Oct. 19. “ "Contact Tracing and Telehealth: Trust, Privacy and Technology during and after the Pandemic.” Kirsten Ostherr, Ph.D., M.P.H., Gladys Louise Fox Professor of English; director, Medical Futures Lab, Rice University

Oct. 26. “Lessons from COVID-19: Efficiency vs Resilience.” Moshe Vardi, Ph.D.

Nov. 2. “Inequality and Pandemics.” Diana Strassmann, Ph.D., director, Program in Poverty, Justice & Human Capabilities; Carolyn and Fred McManis Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Humanities, Rice University

Nov. 9. “Educational Technology and Equity.” Kori Stroub, Ph.D., research scientist, Houston Education Research Consortium, Rice University

Nov. 16. “Climate Change and Human Behavior: Lessons from COVID-19.” Daniel Cohan, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University

+ Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University
+ Department of English, Rice University
+ Houston Education Research Consortium
+ Medical Futures Lab, Rice University
+ Rice University’s Initiative on Technology, Culture and Society
+ Rice University Ken Kennedy Institute
+ Scientia Institute, Rice University


Enroll Now - Available Sections

Section Title
Technology, Culture and Society in the Age of COVID-19
Online, fixed date
7:00PM to 8:30PM
Oct 05, 2020 to Nov 16, 2020
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Online
Delivery Options
Synchronous Learning  
Course Fee(s)
* non-credit $240.00
Section Notes

This course will be held online in a synchronous format.  Access information will be sent prior to the course start date.

Refund Policy
A 10 percent processing fee will be subtracted from all refunds. Due to the high demand for courses, registrations are considered final as of 10 days prior to the class start date. No refunds will be issued after these dates and credits will not be given for future classes. No refunds will be granted for participants who miss a portion of a program. Refund requests before the deadline must be made in writing to gscs@rice.edu.