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Bern Dibner Library of Science & Technology (Brooklyn)

An overview of library research and services for patrons of Dibner Library.

What is Dibner Discussions?

Dibner Discussions is a monthly series for NYU students to talk about current events and social issues in STEM through an interdisciplinary lens. All participants must agree to our Guidelines for Respectful Discussion prior to participating. If you require support after the discussion, please see this resource guide for information on resources available to NYU students. Scroll down to view themes, recordings, and resources from previous years.

Topics & Dates:

[Running resources & additional info document]

Spring 2024

  • Wednesday, February 28 from 2-3 PM | LC 433 (REGISTER)
    • Topic: Algorithmic bias - how do biases exist in the algorithms used in automated decision making systems we use to determine who to hire, who should receive benefits, and more? In what ways does algorithmic bias impact tools like ChatGPT and Google's search engine? How can technologists respond to these biases?
  • Thursday, March 28 from 2-3 PM | LC 433 (REGISTER)
    • Topic: Generative AI - OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT and DALL-E, has recently released Sora AI which generates video from text inputs. What are the implications of generative AI tools such as Sora AI and DALL-E? What impact will they have on misinformation and disinformation? Are these tools ethical? How would we answer that question? 
  • Thursday, April 25 from 2-3 PM | LC 433 (REGISTER)
    • Topic: Will Tech Save Us? - There's an app for that! It's almost impossible to imagine living in the world today without access to technology or the internet. This discussion will explore the impact of technology on our lives - and, what impact technology should have on our lives (if any).

Fall 2023

  • Tuesday, September 26 from 2-3 PM | LC 433
    • Topic: Is college fair? - how do factors such as the recent supreme court decisions on college admissions, debates among which majors are "better" than others, and the rising cost of tuition impact how we think of college?
  • Tuesday, October 24 from 2-3 PM | LC 433
    • Topic: Can science cause harm? - this discussion will incorporate perspectives from the 2023-4 NYU Reads selection, How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith, to explore the ways in which scientific progress and harm coincide.
  • Tuesday, November 28 from 2-3 PM | LC 433
    • Topic: Open science - how accessible should scientific research and data be? What are the potential impacts of making scientific scholarship more accessible? What are our responsibilities as researchers?

Previous Topics:

Spring 2023

  • Tuesday, February 28 from 2-3 PM | LC 433
    • Topic: "If I have nothing to hide, I have nothing to fear" - what expectations should people have around their data and privacy in the digital world? Come for the pizza, stay for the discussion and let us know what you think!
  • Tuesday, March 28 from 2-3 PM | LC 433
    • Topic: ChatGPT - there's a new tool that can write your essay for you! What impacts will ChatGPT have on education? Is it possible to plagiarize an AI? What types of biases (if any) can an AI essay generator have? Let's talk about it! Please note: pizza will not be served so that students observing Ramadan can participate in this session, we will be giving out to-go snack bags instead!
  • Tuesday, April 25 from 2-3:30 PM | LC 433
    • Topic: Wikipedia - is Wikipedia a reliable resource? What makes something reliable? How do we know if the information we're looking at is accurate? Eat pizza with us and discuss! This session includes time for participants to contribute to Wikipedia article references.

Spring 2021: STEM and Social Justice

Inclusive Design for a Digital World with Professor Regine Gilbert

Fall 2020: Anti-Racism in STEM

Mapping Social Justice with Michelle Thompson Gumbs

The Past, Present, and Future of Tech Discrimination with Dr. Joy Rankin & Dr. Sarah Myers West

Contact Tracing and Marginalized Communities with Prof. Kadija Ferryman