The Internet and ICT for Sustainable Development (ICT4D)

Although the relationship of science and technology to society has a very long history, study and instruction in the field today is powerfully shaped by the digital network revolution that began in the mid twentieth century.  Information and communications technologies are what economists call general purpose technologies that affect all sectors of industry, government and society, evoking comparisons with the industrial revolution a century earlier.  As of 1980, South Korea was still considered a developing country, but these new digital networks, epitomized by the internet, powerfully influenced its rapid transformation into an advanced, industrialized nation, with world-leading broadband internet infrastructure. 

The rise of digital networks continues to shape the development of two new fields of study that arose in the latter half of the twentieth century.  Communication and media studies emerged in the years immediately following World War II.  The field of science, technology and society (STS) studies came later, in the 1960s and 70s, and the new Department of Technology and Society at Stony Brook University was a pioneer. Read about its early history here on the Stony Brook University website. 

Another focal point for research in the Department of Technology and Society centers on the Internet and the ICT sector, along with the role of ICT in sustainable development.  This focus draws upon Korea’s recent history of ICT-led development.  Some of the specific topics are listed below and individual faculty interests are described in the faculty section of this site.  

  • Science and technology ecosystems and policy, including public-private partnership and the role of government leadership
  • Smart-grid
  • Energy-environmental systems transitions
  • The globalization of R&D
  • Risk assessment
  • Climate
  • Factors and impacts of technology on inequality and poverty
  • Technology assessment of advanced and emerging technologies
  • Distance learning
  • Innovative approaches to human-computer interfaces

Resources for ICT for Sustainable Development