Dr Jathan Sadowski

Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Smart Cities

G04 - Wilkinson Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9114 2199

Biographical details

Jathan Sadowski is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Smart Cities. His research brings together technology studies, urban geography, political economy, and social theory. He applies this interdisciplinary approach to the study of “smart systems” (data-driven, networked, automated). Broadly, Jathan is interested in how issues such as power asymmetries, uneven development, and competing values influence the design and use of digital tech. He believes that by analysing the institutions, interests, ideologies, and material conditions that influence how/what socio-technical systems are built we can then better engage with their impacts and guide their creation. To that end, his work is typically concerned with transformative technologies that are being used to shape society—at different scales, to different degrees, and by different actors—now and in the near future.

Jathan’s new project seeks to shift the focus of smart urbanism research from the conceptual to the material and from the speculative to the actual. Through an urban ethnography of smart initiatives in Sydney, the project studies how these policies and technologies are designed and implemented, and how are they are used and challenged by community organizations. Thus, the goal is not only to flesh out a better understanding of the actually existing smart city, but also consider how the values of communities and users can inform the design of alternative smart cities. This project is grounded in the theory of cyborg urbanization. By emphasizing how material, political, social, and spatial assemblages are made, how they interface with people, and how they impact urban society, this theory provides a useful tool for investigating and interpreting the (smart) city.

Jathan also frequently writes analysis and opinion articles about the politics of technology for media outlets such as The Guardian, The Nation, and Slate.

Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • Sadowski, J. (2019). A Digital Deal for the smart city: Participation, protection, progress. In Claudio Coletta, Leighton Evans, LIam Heaphy and Rob Kitchin (Eds.), Creating Smart Cities. Oxon: Routledge.
  • Selin, C., Sadowski, J. (2016). Against blank slate futuring: Noticing obduracy in the city through experiential methods of public engagement. Remaking Participation: Science, Environment and Emergent Publics, (pp. 218-237). United Kingdom: Taylor and Francis. [More Information]

Journals

  • Sadowski, J., Bendor, R. (2018). Selling Smartness: Corporate Narratives and the Smart City as a Sociotechnical Imaginary. Science, Technology and Human Values, online (in press). [More Information]
  • Selin, C., Campbell Rawlings, K., de Ridder-Vignone, K., Sadowski, J., Allende, C., Gano, G., Davies, S., Guston, D. (2017). Experiments in engagement: Designing public engagement with science and technology for capacity building. Public Understanding of Science, 26(6), 634-649. [More Information]
  • Sadowski, J., Guston, D. (2016). 'You caught me off guard': Probing the futures of complex engineered nanomaterials. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 18(7), 1-13. [More Information]
  • Taylor, A., Sadowski, J. (2015). Digital redlining. Nation, 300(24), 24-27.
  • Sadowski, J., Spierre, S., Selinger, E., Seager, T., Adams, E., Berardy, A. (2015). Intergroup Cooperation in Common Pool Resource Dilemmas. Science and Engineering Ethics, 21(5), 1197-1215. [More Information]
  • Sadowski, J. (2015). Office of Technology Assessment: History, implementation, and participatory critique. Technology in Society: an international journal, 42, 9-20. [More Information]
  • Sadowski, J., Pasquale, F. (2015). The spectrum of control: A social theory of the smart city. First Monday, 20(7), 1-19. [More Information]
  • Sadowski, J., Selinger, E. (2014). Creating a taxonomic tool for technocracy and applying it to Silicon Valley. Technology in Society: an international journal, 38, 161-168. [More Information]
  • Wender, B., Foley, R., Prado-Lopez, V., Ravikumar, D., Eisenberg, D., Hottle, T., Sadowski, J., Flanagan, W., Fisher, A., Larin, L., et al (2014). Illustrating anticipatory life cycle assessment for emerging photovoltaic technologies. Environmental Science and Technology, 48(18), 10531-10538. [More Information]
  • Sadowski, J. (2014). Leaning on the ethical crutch: A critique of codes of ethics. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 33(4), 44-47+72. [More Information]
  • Sadowski, J., Seager, T., Selinger, E., Spierre, S., Whyte, K. (2013). An Experiential, Game-Theoretic Pedagogy for Sustainability Ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics, 19(3), 1323-1339. [More Information]
  • Whyte, K., Selinger, E., Caplan, A., Sadowski, J. (2012). Nudge, nudge or shove, shove-the right way for nudges to increase the supply of donated cadaver organs. The American Journal of Bioethics, 12(2), 32-39. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Spierre, S., Martin, E., Sadowski, J., Berardy, A., McClintock, S., Augustin, S., Hohman, N., Banna, J. (2012). An experiential pedagogy for sustainability ethics. 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, San Antonio: American Society for Engineering Education.
  • Spierre, S., Seager, T., Selinger, E., Sadowski, J. (2011). Using non-cooperative games to simulate ethical tensions in climate policy negotiations. 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2011, Piscataway, New Jersey: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). [More Information]

2019

  • Sadowski, J. (2019). A Digital Deal for the smart city: Participation, protection, progress. In Claudio Coletta, Leighton Evans, LIam Heaphy and Rob Kitchin (Eds.), Creating Smart Cities. Oxon: Routledge.

2018

  • Sadowski, J., Bendor, R. (2018). Selling Smartness: Corporate Narratives and the Smart City as a Sociotechnical Imaginary. Science, Technology and Human Values, online (in press). [More Information]

2017

  • Selin, C., Campbell Rawlings, K., de Ridder-Vignone, K., Sadowski, J., Allende, C., Gano, G., Davies, S., Guston, D. (2017). Experiments in engagement: Designing public engagement with science and technology for capacity building. Public Understanding of Science, 26(6), 634-649. [More Information]

2016

  • Sadowski, J., Guston, D. (2016). 'You caught me off guard': Probing the futures of complex engineered nanomaterials. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 18(7), 1-13. [More Information]
  • Selin, C., Sadowski, J. (2016). Against blank slate futuring: Noticing obduracy in the city through experiential methods of public engagement. Remaking Participation: Science, Environment and Emergent Publics, (pp. 218-237). United Kingdom: Taylor and Francis. [More Information]

2015

  • Taylor, A., Sadowski, J. (2015). Digital redlining. Nation, 300(24), 24-27.
  • Sadowski, J., Spierre, S., Selinger, E., Seager, T., Adams, E., Berardy, A. (2015). Intergroup Cooperation in Common Pool Resource Dilemmas. Science and Engineering Ethics, 21(5), 1197-1215. [More Information]
  • Sadowski, J. (2015). Office of Technology Assessment: History, implementation, and participatory critique. Technology in Society: an international journal, 42, 9-20. [More Information]
  • Sadowski, J., Pasquale, F. (2015). The spectrum of control: A social theory of the smart city. First Monday, 20(7), 1-19. [More Information]

2014

  • Sadowski, J., Selinger, E. (2014). Creating a taxonomic tool for technocracy and applying it to Silicon Valley. Technology in Society: an international journal, 38, 161-168. [More Information]
  • Wender, B., Foley, R., Prado-Lopez, V., Ravikumar, D., Eisenberg, D., Hottle, T., Sadowski, J., Flanagan, W., Fisher, A., Larin, L., et al (2014). Illustrating anticipatory life cycle assessment for emerging photovoltaic technologies. Environmental Science and Technology, 48(18), 10531-10538. [More Information]
  • Sadowski, J. (2014). Leaning on the ethical crutch: A critique of codes of ethics. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 33(4), 44-47+72. [More Information]

2013

  • Sadowski, J., Seager, T., Selinger, E., Spierre, S., Whyte, K. (2013). An Experiential, Game-Theoretic Pedagogy for Sustainability Ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics, 19(3), 1323-1339. [More Information]

2012

  • Spierre, S., Martin, E., Sadowski, J., Berardy, A., McClintock, S., Augustin, S., Hohman, N., Banna, J. (2012). An experiential pedagogy for sustainability ethics. 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, San Antonio: American Society for Engineering Education.
  • Whyte, K., Selinger, E., Caplan, A., Sadowski, J. (2012). Nudge, nudge or shove, shove-the right way for nudges to increase the supply of donated cadaver organs. The American Journal of Bioethics, 12(2), 32-39. [More Information]

2011

  • Spierre, S., Seager, T., Selinger, E., Sadowski, J. (2011). Using non-cooperative games to simulate ethical tensions in climate policy negotiations. 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2011, Piscataway, New Jersey: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). [More Information]

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