Science and Democracy Lecture: Mastering the Demons of Our Own Design


Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 1:30pm to 3:00pm


Online Only

Science and Democracy Lecture: "Mastering the Demons of Our Own Design"

Attend this event via Zoom (advance registration required)


Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media.


Cathryn Carson, Thomas M. Siebel Presidential Chair in the History of Science, Department of History, UC Berkeley.

David WinickoffSenior Policy Analyst and Secretary of the Working Party on Bio-, Nano- and Converging Technology (BNCT), OECD.


Paul Sherman

Presented by the Program on Science, Technology and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School. Co-hosted by the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

This event is online only. Please click the "Read More" link for full instructions on how to attend this seminar.


Sheila JasanoffFaculty Associate. Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Harvard Kennedy School.

Remote Access Information:

To join by computer:


Internet pioneers expected freedom and the wisdom of crowds, not that we would all be under the thumb of giant corporations profiting from a market in disinformation. We can still recover, but at least so far, Silicon Valley appears to be part of the problem more than it is part of the solution. Can we master the demons of our own design? The governance of AI is no simple task. It means rethinking deeply how we govern our companies, our markets and our society—not just managing a stand-alone new technology. It will be unbelievably hard—one of the greatest challenges of the twenty-first century—but it is also a tremendous opportunity.

Speaker Bio:

Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, the company that has been providing the picks and shovels of learning to the Silicon Valley gold rush for the past thirty-five years. The company's online learning and knowledge-on-demand platform at is used by thousands of enterprises and millions of individuals worldwide. O'Reilly has a history of convening conversations that reshape the computer industry. If you've heard the term "open source software", "web2.0", "the Maker movement", or "government as a platform", he's had a hand in framing each of those big ideas. Tim is also a partner at early stage venture firm O'Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures (OATV) and on the board of Code for America. He is the author of many technical books published by O'Reilly Media, and most recently WTF? What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us (Harper Business, 2017). He is a visiting professor of practice at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London, and is working on a new book about why we need to rethink antitrust in the era of internet-scale platforms.