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Steve Chaplin
IU Communications

Last modified: Monday, April 23, 2012

Mellon award funds year of law school for IU Bloomington School of Informatics professor

April 23, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Eden Medina, an assistant professor in the Indiana University Bloomington School of Informatics and Computing, has received a New Directions Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The $299,900 award will allow Medina to attend law school for the 2013-14 school year to study the intersection between information technology and human rights. Medina's research focuses on the relationship of technological innovation and political innovation and how political values can shape the design of computer systems. She is a member of the social informatics group.

Medina has been on the faculty at the school since 2005 and holds a Ph.D. in the history and social study of science and technology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BSE in electrical engineering from Princeton University.

"My proposed research program recognizes that technology and law are mutually constitutive and that both shape human action," Medina said. "The program will highlight the role of technology in debates about expertise, evidence and truth in human rights cases and will enrich our understanding of law, technology and history. In the long term, the program will provide a needed historical perspective on the confluence of technological and legal tools in human rights cases and how this confluence has shaped our ideas about human rights and human rights violations.

"Engaging in this line of study requires knowledge of legal concepts, legal frameworks and methods in legal history," Medina said. "I am grateful to the Mellon Foundation for providing me with the opportunity to move my research into this new area."

"This is a great honor and opportunity for Eden," said Bobby Schnabel, dean of the School of Informatics and Computing. "This is a highly competitive program, and Eden's selection as a fellow is an outstanding accomplishment. The support provided by the Mellon Foundation will position Eden to make even more important contributions as an educator and scholar at the intersection of technology and society."

New Directions Fellowships assist faculty members in the humanities who wish to acquire systematic training outside their own areas of special interest. They are intended to provide advanced training in pursuit of a specific research agenda and are meant to facilitate longer-term investments in the scholar's career. Each year a limited number of universities in the U.S. is invited by the Mellon Foundation to select faculty candidates to compete for the New Directions Fellowship. This is the second time a member of the Indiana University faculty has submitted a successful proposal.

For more information contact Steve Chaplin, IU Communications, at 812-856-1896 or Tweeting Indiana University science news: @IndianaScience.