Episode 025: Predictive Policing, Space Travel and The Internet of Things with Dr. Perkowitz

Sidney PerkowitzDr. Sidney Perkowitz is Emeritus professor of physics at Emory University.  He is a scientist and a writer.  Dr. Perkowitz discusses some of his interests in science and technology and dives deeper into his most recent articles including predictive policing, the internet of things and space travel.

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Scientist and writer Sidney Perkowitz, Emeritus professor of physics Emory University.

Recommended Book:

“Machines of Loving Grace,” John Markoff (2015)

“Digital People,” Sidney Perkowitz (2004)


“Only connect!” E. M. Forster, “The Machine Stops,” (1909)

Glimpse into the interview:

ES: What makes this project/research special to you personally?

SP: These two projects come under my general concern that when the technology is as dazzling,as it is these days, it’s easy to forget to ask “Yes, but where is it taking us?” The “technological imperative” to push tech to its scientific and engineering limits often outruns the need to thoughtfully consider the human impact of these changes.

ES: What do these developments mean to our everyday lives and the world as a whole?

SP: There’s no single answer to that. Of course many tech breakthroughs contribute to human health, happiness and quality of life; others are less beneficial and even harmful, The point is that we need to sometimes take a breath and consider what they are doing to our society and the world rather than automatically embrace them without question.

ES: What is the next big obstacle that you see in this field and what implications will this have on the world of science or your study in particular?

SP: Taking my field as conveying sci/tech to the general public, one issue is that though the internet has brought an explosion of sources, these aren’t necessarily reliable and trustworthy sources. Internet memes and misinformation don’t help and may harm efforts to help build an informed public that’s ready to cope with our techno world.

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