Dr. Logan D. A. Williams on Innovation By and For Marginalized People

‘It has to start with a belief in yourself … ‘in terms of structural support I really think that we should start moving away from the deficit model of understanding marginalised groups ability to innovate … instead we start from the understanding that everyone is an innovator and then provide them the resources to make their innovations come to fruition’

Dr. Logan D. A. Williams

In this episode of A Correction podcast I spoke to Dr. Logan Williams about her research explaining how India and Nepal leads in providing eye surgery for cataracts which if left untreated causes blindness. She explains the way organisations are leading through ‘innovation from below’ and are helping marginalised people and in rural areas to have this important surgery. This research and innovation has spread around the world, including in the USA, Mexico, South East Asia, Africa, Finland and North Korea, and they now train medical practitioners in these countries to perform the surgery in their own countries too. The importance of women in the development of this eye surgery innovation is also discussed. Williams also speaks about her work helping companies and researchers to design inclusive technology and deal with what Ruha Benjamin calls ‘default discrimination’. She also explains how the arts and science connect and discusses Afrofuturism. Listen to the podcast on the A Correction website or on Apple podcast.

Dr. Logan D. A. Williams

About Dr. Logan D. A. Williams

Logan D. A. Williams teaches the capstone course for the Science, Technology and Society Scholars Program and a course on engineering ethics for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland. Previously, at Michigan State University, she taught “Introduction to History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science” in Lyman Briggs College (also a living–learning community) and a graduate course, “Qualitative Field Methods,” in the Department of Sociology. In the classroom, Williams uses evidence-based techniques that enhance students’ ability to communicate professionally, conduct research and analyze findings.

Topically, Williams studies health and information technology; however, her broad research interests are: responsible research, inclusive design, gendered innovation, innovation from below, technology transfer, technology users/non-users, and technology governance. She organizes the knowledge from the margins scholarly network and, in 2015, organized a conference by the same name, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Her doctorate in science and technology studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute involved multi-sited research in North America, Africa and Asia funded by NSF, Council of American Overseas Research Centers, Rensselaer, and Council of Women World Leaders.

  

Eradicating Blindness

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