Arthur Daemmrich named director of Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes

February 24, 2023

Given his work history with organizations such as Harvard Business School and the Smithsonian Institution, Arthur Daemmrich is no stranger to innovation and public engagement. He now brings this combined experience to Arizona State University as the director of the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes (CSPO), a globally recognized network aimed at enhancing science and technology’s ability to create a more just society.

CSPO, based at ASU’s center in Washington, D.C., is a research unit of ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory. The center dates back to 1999 when it was first established by ASU President Michael M. Crow while he was at Columbia University to meet a mission set forth by former U.S. Rep. George E. Brown Jr. — that science should be the servant of justice, freedom, equality and enlightenment.  Arthur Daemmrich is pictured speaking to a classroom. Arthur Daemmrich, the new director of ASU's Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, hopes to lead the network in fostering new policies, advancing the consortium's work in participatory technology assessment and engaging in important discussions about emerging science and technology. Photo courtesy Arthur Daemmrich Download Full Image

As the newest director, Daemmrich will lead the intellectual network in fostering new policies, advancing the consortium’s work in participatory technology assessment and engaging in important discussions about emerging science and technology.

“CSPO has really built expertise around the broad topic we call ‘responsible innovation,’” Daemmrich said. “Traditionally, a new idea or technology is tested in a lab to make sure it works and then it’s pushed out into the market. What people don’t always do is engage with the communities that will be impacted by it. CSPO challenges that practice.” 

He said his first brush with the concept of responsible innovation occurred in his sophomore year of college when he was tasked to walk West Philadelphia and write a paper about how technology impacted the lives of its residents. Through walking the area, he realized there was a section that seemed to be cut off from the city set apart by a set of railroad tracks. 

“If you crossed the tracks, you were in a distinctly different part of the city,” Daemmrich said. “You could see how the area had been transformed by what transportation was and wasn’t available. I wrote my paper about that separation, and the idea that technologies we introduce have long-term — sometimes subtle and sometimes not — impacts on communities. That has stuck with me since.” 

At CSPO, technology and science are seen as immensely powerful tools that must be wielded with both determination and care. CSPO’s projects focus on areas such as global development, complex sociotechnical systems and sustainability, in addition to education and engagement. 

Being located in D.C., Daemmrich said he is looking forward to further strengthening the bridge that connects ASU and CSPO’s work to national changemakers. 

“CSPO has worked really effectively with a number of agencies on how to do risk assessment and real-time technology assessment,” he said, “and I would argue that ASU is the top university in the world for the field of science and technology studies.” 

Daemmrich comes to ASU most recently from the Smithsonian Institution, where he served as the director of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Other positions he has held include teaching at Harvard Business School, University of Kansas Medical Center and China Europe International Business School. 

In addition to being the director of CSPO, Daemmrich holds an academic appointment within the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. While Daemmrich’s prior work experience has overlapped with the work he is doing at ASU, he was also driven to work for the university for its mission statement of inclusion. 

Daemmrich said his father came to the United States from East Germany in the 1950s and worked his way through his undergraduate degree while employed at a department store. Due to the cost of education and focus on elites at some universities, Daemmrich said this feat is “next to impossible” today. 

“To be able to achieve an education is a path to success in this country,” Daemmrich said. “The fact that ASU has stated in the vision and mission statement that it's going to put systems in place that help people do that, I found that incredibly inspiring.”

Katelyn Reinhart

Communications specialist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory

Grant funds professor’s research to support juvenile justice system, help youths build productive lives

Funding is from NSF’s distinguished Faculty Early Career Award Development Program

February 24, 2023

An Arizona State University criminology and criminal justice professor is using funding from a program that recognizes worthy, early-career academics to research and test new ways to empower youth to thrive beyond the juvenile justice system.

Assistant Professor Adam Fine of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, is principal investigator of the five-year study, funded by a nearly $670,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s distinguished Faculty Early Career Award Development Program. Portrait of ASU Assistant Professor Adam Fine. Adam Fine, an assistant professor in the ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, received a Faculty Early Career Award Development grant to study the juvenile justice system. Photo by ASU Download Full Image

The program supports early-career faculty with “the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization,” according to the NSF. The award recipient’s activities “should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research,” the NSF said.

Fine said news of the award was “an extreme surprise and huge honor. In our field, this is the type of award usually given to people in the ‘hard’ sciences or math.”

Fine said the juvenile justice system is set up separately from the adult system and, rather than just punish youth, it is designed to help young people become productive members of society, to hold them accountable and help them grow. But the actual system often lags behind its intended purposes, he said.

“Developmental psychology has come a long way in recent years, in youth empowerment, engaging families and promoting positive outcomes. But the system hasn’t caught up yet in many ways with the science,” Fine said. “We are taking what we’ve learned from developmental science and coming up with ways to help young persons experiencing the system that are doable, scalable and can make real impact.”

The study will develop and test an approach called the Integrated Youth Development Model (IYDM), which Fine called a novel, theoretical framework that demonstrates how interdisciplinary approaches can be integrated and distilled into a workable set of core tenets that promotes thriving among justice-involved youth.

Investigators will solicit feedback about the model from juveniles and their families and then test whether creating a set of tools that build youth empowerment, growth and youth engagement will have measurable and sustainable effects. To help enhance its impact, Fine will be collaborating with Sasha Barab, a learning scientist and professor at ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

Fine is the co-author of the 2021 book "The Behavioral Code: The Hidden Ways the Law Makes Us Better … Or Worse," published by Beacon Press. It examines the theory that merely knowing one might get in trouble for doing something wrong isn’t quite enough to keep many on a straight-and-narrow path, and punishment isn’t the deterrent people often think it is.

Fine called the grant and the research he is doing “an immense honor and privilege. It’s daunting but really exciting. It provides full funding for three undergraduate students to assist, funding that is specifically earmarked for students whose identities are aligned with people who are overrepresented in the system but underrepresented in academia.”

Fine praised his colleagues and administration at the school for their strong support.

“This is something I’d never have been able to put together without their support,” he said. “They just want to help you succeed.”

Mark J. Scarp

Media Relations Officer, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions