Science, Technology and Society Seminar: STS Circle at Harvard


Monday, December 2, 2019, 12:15pm to 2:00pm


CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Room S050

"Listening Like a Computer: Computational Psychiatry and the Re-coding of Psychiatric Screening"


Beth Michelle Semel, PhD candidate, History, Anthropology, Science, Technology and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Sam Weiss Evans, Science, Technology & Society Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School.

Co-sponsored by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.


STS Program


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

Lunch is provided if you RSVP. via our online form before Wednesday afternoon, November 27:


Beth’s research explores how new, artificial intelligence enabled technologies are not only reshaping the field and practice of mental health care in the United States, but also destabilizing basic assumptions about the way language works and the relationship between mind, brain, listening, and speaking.

Her dissertation project investigates collaborations between engineers, computer scientists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and neuroscientists to develop and implement technology that can assist in the detection, classification, and treatment of mental illness. Unlike the conventional, semantic-centered diagnostic tools employed in Euro-American psychiatry and psychology, this technology is designed to correlate non-semantic features of speech with inner, psychological states at a level of specificity that exceeds the human sensorium. Through studying researchers' efforts to build this vocal-diagnostic technology, she interrogates ideologies of linguistic opacity and transparency, agency and intentionality, care and control, illness, expertise, and machine intelligence.

A complete list of STS Circle at Harvard events can be found on