ARC seeks passengers and drivers

One of my various projects is looking for new blood: the Anthropology of the Contemporary Research Collaboratory is looking for people to help with the management of the project. As a collaboratory, it’s intended to be an umbrella for different kinds of research projects that work together on problems and concepts in a loosely defined, geographically and academically dispersed way. The current research has settled into two major research projects. The first is a project on critical infrastructure protection or “Vital Systems Security” organized by Andy Lakoff and Stephen Collier. The other is a project on the ethics and politics of synthetic biology and nanotechnology that includes myself, Gaymon Bennett and Paul Rabinow.

We use a simple WordPress installation to coordinate our research, and much of the discussion over the years has been about how to improve the specifically academic modes of interaction we are accustomed to (i.e. email and sharing documents for review and critique) to take advantage of new software tools and new kinds of research, much of which is frequently discussed here. Right now, I’m the main “technical” person, but I’m looking for people (especially graduate students) who might want to participate in this project and help make the tools more effective, figure out how to manage a collaboratory (i.e. herd cats), or contribute to these research projects or even start a new one. This potentially includes one or more paid positions, but that depends on how much work required or desired. If anyone is interested in participating at any level, please contact me (ckelty at rice dot edu)


Christopher M. Kelty is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has a joint appointment in the Institute for Society and Genetics, the department of Information Studies and the Department of Anthropology. His research focuses on the cultural significance of information technology, especially in science and engineering. He is the author most recently of Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software (Duke University Press, 2008), as well as numerous articles on open source and free software, including its impact on education, nanotechnology, the life sciences, and issues of peer review and research process in the sciences and in the humanities.