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HOW IS IT that public health has delivered on its promise to improve the lives of millions, while failing to resolve the dramatic health disparities of people of color in the US? And what can the movement for tech governance learn from these failures?

Through 150 years of public institutions that serve the common good through science, public health has transformed human life. In just a few generations, some of the world’s most complex challenges have become manageable. Millions of people can now expect safe childbirth, trust their water supply, enjoy healthy food, and expect collective responses to epidemics. In the United States, people born in 2010 or later will live over 30 years longer than people born in 1900.

Inspired by the success of public health, leaders in technology and policy have suggested a public health model of digital governance in which technology policy not only detects and remediates past harms of technology on society, but also supports societal well-being and prevents future crises. Public health also offers a roadmap—professions, academic disciplines, public institutions, and networks of engaged community leaders—for building the systems needed for a healthy digital environment.

To read the full article visit WIRED.


J. Nathan Matias is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Cornell University.

To read the full article visit WIRED.