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ITx 2016 Conference Programme

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Deeply Political and Social Issues: moral debates in the early computing profession

Monday 3:20pm - 3:50pm, IITP (IITP Room 2)

The 1960s and 1970s were decades when many scientists began to reassess the relationship between their professional lives and their personal beliefs.

For the relatively new discipline of computer science this reflection about moral values and responsibilities came at a crucial time in the formation of the profession.

The first professional society for computer scientists, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) went through a series of heated internal debates, including the use of computers in missile systems, the human rights of Soviet computer scientists, privacy concerns, nd the equal rights of women members of the profession.

Many of the decisions of ACM have had a lasting impact on the profession worldwide, and the issues raised are still highly relevant to present day IT professionals in New Zealand.

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Janet Toland

Senior Lecturer (Information Systems), Victoria University of Wellington

Dr Janet Toland is a Senior Lecturer in Information Systems at Victoria University of Wellington.

In 2015 she received an ACM History Fellowship and spent five months at the Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota collecting data on ACMs role in influencing public policy around issues related to computing and society.