September 17, 2018

Academic innovator from University College London to speak on interdisciplinary, policy-outcome approach

Jason Blackstock Jason Blackstock

Purdue's commitment to aligning technological advances to societal and policy concerns will receive insight from an experienced voice Thursday (Sept. 20) when the Purdue Systems Collaboratory brings a University College London leader to the West Lafayette campus.

Jason Blackstock, associate professor and founding head of UCL's Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy, will give a seminar presentation at noon-1:30 p.m. in Krannert Center, Room 124. An RSVP is needed for seating and the provided lunch.

The nature of Blackstock's department, about five years old and known as STEaPP, is indicated by his seminar title, "Building an Interdisciplinary, Impact-focused Academic Department: The Experience of UCL STEaPP." Its growth to 60 staff has taken the direction of providing advice and expertise to policymakers to meet societal challenges, as well as developing educational programs.

In the seminar, Blackstock will describe the design and growth of the department in its early years, often working with external partners. He also will speak to the increasing number of interdisciplinary units worldwide. As an outcome of the seminar, Purdue expects to have discussion of how such efforts could inform the Purdue Systems Collaboratory.

Blackstock has a background spanning quantum physics research, technology development in Silicon Valley, international public policy advising and research, and higher education innovation and leadership. He has taught and led programs at places such as Harvard University and the University of Oxford.

Blackstock's visit includes the possibility of a personal or small meeting with him. To arrange such a meeting, contact Boshra Afra, research and education director for the collaboratory, at


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