John Carter McKnight’s work unites his academic training in the sociology of technology with a prior decade’s experience as an attorney specializing in financing high-technology companies. He teaches a broad range of courses about technology use, governance, and ethics, with a particular focus on teaching read/write literacy in new media, from messaging apps and games to virtual reality.
John has taught and guest lectured in the US, the UK, and Denmark, and presented papers at Oxford University, the European Parliament, San Diego Comic-Con, and an English pub. His publications include work on the ethics of social robots, governance issues in long-term spaceflight, and peer-to-peer personal finance systems. John has been an officer and director of STEM-related nonprofit organizations, including The Mars Society and the Space Frontier Foundation, was briefly CEO of a startup spacesuit design firm, and holds a NASA certification in planetary protection as well as a Red Cross certification in international humanitarian law.
He conducts research in two main areas:
Online communities, platforms, and producers: he studies online community formation and management, examining the interplay of community culture, technological platforms, user interface/experience design, and user/producer interactions.
Ethics and governance of emerging technologies: Much of his work examines the management and governance of innovation, with a particular interest in social robotics, space exploration, and alternative financial tools such as cryptocurrencies.
In addition to his PhD in Human & Social Dimensions of Science & Technology from Arizona State University, he hold a JD from the New York University School of Law, a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA (honors) in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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