WTO colloquia bring in outside speakers to present recent research of interest to the greater Stanford community engaged in organizational research. Talks are held on Mondays from 12:00-1:15pm and lunch is served. Further details about each colloquium, including the title of the talk, an abstract and the colloquium’s location are distributed via email prior to each event.

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We are honored to host these speakers during the 2015-2016 academic year:

Fall 2015

November 9th, 2015
Ruthanne Huising, Desautels Faculty of Management – McGill University
Title: From regulating science to regulating scientists: The knowledge boundaries of professional control
Time & Location: 12-1:15 in Spilker 232
Abstract: Cutting edge scientific projects, and eventually new discoveries, are collaborative efforts that occur within laboratories and across laboratory, organizational, and political boundaries. Traditional attempts to regulate scientific work focused on safety risks arising from hazardous materials, the manipulation of these materials, and lab architecture. Increasingly regulators are expanding their focus to include security risks located in scientists’ tacit skills, knowledge, and collaborations. Since 2012, regulators in Canada have consulted with scientists, technical experts, regulated organizations, and the public to develop a regulatory framework – regulations, policies, and programs – that will govern the use of pathogens, viruses, and toxins in laboratories. I analyze how scientists were able to influence regulatory requirements related to biosafety by mobilizing their detailed knowledge of the materials, daily scientific practice, and organizational constraints. I compare this with their relative failure to negotiate requirements related biosecurity despite mobilizing similar expertise. I show how the emergence of the professional field of biosecurity offers expertise about scientists – their motives and morality – that supersedes scientists’ expertise of science. These findings show how incontrovertible expertise of a task jurisdiction may be an insufficient resource to maintain control of the jurisdiction. More generally, these findings raise questions about how risk professionals who collect and analyze information about professional practices (actuaries, intelligence officers, risk managers) may disrupt professional efforts to control the conditions under which they work.

November 30, 2015
Hila Lifshitz-Assaf, NYU Stern
Title: From Problem Solvers to Solution Seekers: Dismantling Knowledge Boundaries at NASA
Time & Location: 12-1:15 in Spilker 232
Abstract: TDB

Winter 2015

Feb 8, 2015
Aruna Ranganathan, Stanford GSB

Feb 22, 2015
Ray Reagans, MIT

For information on past colloquia, click here.