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Why is it that certain research topics seem relevant than others? How does a topic become important, and who is in a position to make something relevant? Current societal issues and trends, attitudes and opinions may play a contributory role. Emerging technologies embody commitments and biases. These commitments may include the interests of industry, university, university research policies, personal biases or life situations from the designers/researchers working with these technologies themselves.

Questions relating to Impulses

  • Whose interests drive our research?
  • What conflicting interests (e.g. financial returns, social responsibility, environmental sustainability) do we perceive in our field of research?
  • Does our project follow current trends or hot topics? What particular areas might need attention?
  • Are there norms embedded in the technology concerning gender roles or what it means to be a “woman”, “transgender” or “man”? How has research considering gender been studied up to now?
  • Might “ people with disabilities” with different experiences be considered as an important interest group?