Prof Vanessa Evers, international expert in socially intelligent computing and human-computer interaction, to lead NISTH as Founding Director.
She is renowned for her work in the field of socially intelligent computing and human-computer interaction, and has guided teams to create real societal impact through science. She is presently Professor of Computer Science at the University of Twente’s Human Media Interaction group in the Netherlands, and also serves as the vice dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Scientific Director of the university's DesignLab.
She had previously taught at the University of Amsterdam, served as a visiting researcher at Stanford University and Tsinghua University, and worked for the Boston Consulting Group in London. Prof Evers has also played a number of advisory roles in industry.
On her appointment, Professor Vanessa Evers said that she strongly believes in an institute dedicated to pursuing scientific and technological achievements for the benefit of humanity.
“With Industry 4.0 developments taking place across the globe, the transformations to the way we live, work and play will require us to identify the difficult questions that need solving. It requires us to work together across the many differences that tend to divide us, to solve those questions so that humanity on our vulnerable planet can prosper,” said Prof Evers.
NISTH is established by NTU to study the impact of technology on human society, and to bring industry, government and academia together to find ways to enhance the use of technology for the betterment of humanity.
NTU President, Professor Subra Suresh, said: "The global society will continue to undergo rapid changes over the coming decades in response to the accelerating pace of technological progress catalysed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. While many of these changes will have positive outcomes for individual citizens, organisations, governments, and society, there are also potential concerns, challenges and questions surrounding ethical dilemmas, inequality, work force retraining, policies, regulations, sustainability, and the impact of technology on the lives and livelihoods of people. A human-centric and ethical approach to science and technology is therefore imperative. With its unique and diverse intellectual strengths, the NTU community of highly talented people is well-positioned to play a leading role in fostering activities that bring together global thinkers to identify ways to maximise the benefits of technologies while minimising technology’s possible negative effects and unintended consequences for individuals and societies.
“As an interdisciplinary institute, NISTH will tap into NTU’s multidisciplinary strengths to foster research on the impact of science and technology on humanity. The establishment of NISTH is significant as Singapore embarks on the Smart Nation initiative in its next phase of development, where technology will empower people to lead meaningful and fulfilled lives. As one of the world’s top universities, NTU is well positioned to not only create new science and technologies, but also pathways to roll out those technologies for the benefit of Singapore, the region and the world, with a particular focus on implications for humanity.”
Focus of NISTH
NISTH will adopt a thematic approach that cuts across various broad subject areas such as in the areas of science, technology, business, medicine, the humanities, arts and social sciences.