The big 10

The Center for Science, Technology, and Society celebrates its first decade

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At the 10-year anniversary dinner for the Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS) in May there was much to celebrate—namely, a decade of pioneering social entrepreneurship and championing science and technology for the good of all humanity. And, as is the high tech way, there were a number of changes and new releases in the works.

The Center welcomed two new members to its advisory board: Larry Hambly of Sun Microsystems Inc. and Anthony Bettencourt ’82, CEO of Autonomy ZANTAZ. Center founder James Koch and advisory board member Jim Morgan joined Center Director Geoff Bowker to offer reflections on the past decade. And Regis McKenna, one of the Center’s guiding hands since its founding, stepped down as chairman of the advisory board, passing the baton to Bill Coleman, founder of BEA Systems Inc. and chairman of Cassatt Corp.

“The Center is a ray of hope,” Coleman said. “There is no better place than Silicon Valley for this work. There is a need and a desire to give back. And there is no better place in the Valley than SCU, where we are building a basis of global learning.”Coleman, who became involved with the Center through an invitation from President Paul Locatelli, S.J., sees the next decade as one characterized by fear and hope, with populations booming in the poorest nations and declining in the richest, income gaps increasing and national resources decreasing. But still, he says, globalism is lifting more people out of poverty; and the Internet can leverage the strength of humanity.

Morgan concurred that the CSTS was launched “in an optimal time. The Valley had wandered culturally, and needed to look at technology in the context of society.” He credits Locatelli for recognizing that Santa Clara had the visionary culture and values to make such a center work.

McKenna notes that the Center “started before Sept. 11, before Google and social networking as we know them, before the synthesis of the human genome.” Yet in this brave new world for students, teachers, and innovators, the Center’s mission remains the same: engage issues of technology and pay special attention to the underserved populations around the world

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