Gili Vidan

Gili Vidan

Gili Vidan

Research Interests: Information and communcation technologies; STS; history of computing and technology; science fiction and futurism; 20th century U.S. political history; Capitalism studies; history statistics and data science; history and sociology of money; cryptography; media studies; data subjectivity and privacy.

Gili Vidan is a PhD Candidate in the Department of the History of Science and research fellow at the Program on Science, Technology, and Society. Her work looks at digital technologies, changing notions of public trust and democratic governance, and narratives of crisis and future-making in the US. Vidan's dissertation traces technical attempts to solve the problems of trust and transparency, with a focus on the development of electronic authentication systems and public key cryptography in late 20th- and early 21st-century US. Her research received support from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institute, the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, the Charles Babbage Institute, and the Microsoft Research Social Media Collective. She is the recipient of the 2019-20 Ambrose Monell Funded Fellowship in Technology and Democracy. Vidan has served as a teaching fellow for courses on digital technology and culture, science, technology and law in the US, and postcolonial science fiction. She holds a MSc in Social Science of the Internet from the University of Oxford and an AB in Social Studies from Harvard.

Papers Presented:
“Trust in Code: Cryptography and the Politics of Decentralization,” STS Lunch Seminar, Science, Technology, and Society Program, Tufts University (Medford, MA, March 1, 2019).

“Checks and Balances: Privacy, Payments, and the Public Interest in the Development of 1970s US Electronic Funds Transfer Systems,” American Historical Association (Chicago, IL, January 6, 2019).

“Stepping into Crisis,” reflections delivered at the “Black/Brown/Queer: Geographies and Temporalities of the History of Science” roundtable at the History of Science Society Annual Meeting (Seattle, WA, November 3, 2018).

"'Nothing in the Middle’: Escrowed Encryption, Crypto Anarchy, and the Colonization of the Future, 1988-2001." Special Interest Group in Computing, Information, and Society [SIGCIS] Annual Meeting (Philadelphia, PA. October 29, 2017).

“Promissory Notes: Constituting the Trusted Time-Horizon of Cryptocurrency,” Society for Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting (Boston, MA, August 30, 2017).

Previous Degrees:
BA., Social Studies, Harvard University
MSc., Social Science of the Internet, Oxford University

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