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Berkman Center Announces 2012-2013 Fellows

Cambridge, MA - The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University today announced the fellows who will join the community in the 2012-2013 academic year, continuing a tradition of providing a home for some of the most incisive and creative minds in law, technology, and social science, alongside path-breaking entrepreneurs and activists. 

“The 2012-2013 fellows bring to Berkman an astounding level of expertise, a diversity in viewpoints and interests, and a willingness to innovatively and deeply engage the many pressing questions related to the ongoing development of the Internet” said Urs Gasser, Berkman’s Executive Director.  “Their commitment to spending the next year in Cambridge provides us the opportunity to build bridges across our shared and independent activities, and to serve the public interest with rigorous research, concerted action, and genuine kinship.  We very much look forward to the year ahead with this inspiring group of colleagues.”

Notably, the Berkman Center and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, will host two inaugural Nieman-Berkman Fellows in Journalism Innovation.

In addition to our fellows, each year the Berkman Center’s community is strengthened by relationships with faculty associates, fellows advisory board members, and affiliates and partners the world over.  Their contributions are fundamental to the Berkman Center’s work and identity, helping to further bolster ties among organizations around the world and to bolster the capacity of the field. 

New 2012-2013 Berkman fellows:

Kendra Albert will deepen her relationship with Berkman and work on the H2O project for open educational resources, as well as explore new topics in generativity and online gatekeeping.

Meg Leta Ambrose, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Colorado's interdisciplinary ATLAS Institute, will explore the legal, social, and technical issues surrounding the proposed digital right to be forgotten.

Laura Norton Amico, editor and founder of Homicide Watch in Washington, D.C., will study criminal justice journalism in the digital age, focusing on best practices, useful tools and new models for crime and courts reporting. She is one of two new Nieman-Berkman Fellows in Journalism Innovation.

Bodó Balázs, a Fulbright Visiting Researcher from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, will work on his book on bottom-up, voluntary intellectual property regimes that emerge in piratical file-sharing communities and other informal media economies.

Matthew Becker, a Harvard Law School 3L and Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, will explore a solution to the problem of adhesive standard form contracts such as terms of service, using an approach that draws on the decentralized nature of the Internet.

Jacques de Werra, Professor of intellectual property and contract law at the University of Geneva, will conduct research on the development of global intellectual property licensing policies in the online environment.

Ruha Devanesan, Executive Director of, will research the impact of the digitization of the music industry on developing world music creation and consumption.

Borja Echevarría de la Gándara, Deputy Managing Editor of El País in Spain, will study the structural evolution of newsrooms around the world and how disruptive innovation is altering traditional business and workflow models for news. He is one of two new Nieman-Berkman Fellows in Journalism Innovation.

Eric Gordon, Associate Professor at Emerson College and Director of the Engagement Game Lab, will examine how social media and games are transforming local civic engagement.

Phil Hill, a J.D. candidate at Harvard Law School, will explore copyright law and policies relating to creative expression in the digital age.

Diana Kimball, an MBA candidate at Harvard Business School, will apply an open-source ethos to her work on mentoring and her research on internet culture.

Rosemary Leith, a Director of the World Wide Web Foundation, will join Berkman's Internet Robustness team, building awareness and facilitating partnerships in the effort to support a more stable and reliable Web.

Ching-Yi Liu, Professor of law at National Taiwan University and Principal Investigator of Taiwan's National E-Learning and Digital Archives Program, will explore issues related to network neutrality, technology policies related to digital libraries, and freedom of the press in the Internet age.

Maria Löblich, Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication Science and Media Research, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, will work on civil society's involvement in net neutrality contentions and its intertwining with other political actors in the United States.

Xinlei Lu, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Journalism at Fudan University, Shanghai will work on how cyber-technology has been employed to prevent HIV/AIDS in the gay community in China, and the political, commercial, and social factors implicated therein.

Jun-Ru Lu, a public prosecutor of Taipei District Prosecutors Office in Taiwan, will develop his research on electronic case files and evidence in criminal procedure.

Silvio Meira, Professor of software engineering at the Center for Informatics at the Federal University of Pernambuco and Chief Scientist at the Recife Center for Advanced Studies and Systems, will work on innovation networks and habitats in developing economies and Brazil in particular and will have a go at The Emerging Web of Machines.

O'Seun Odewale, Personal Assistant and Adviser to Governor of Ekiti State, South West Nigeria will explore Open Society in the context of new technologies and the politics of control.

Jonathon Penney, a research fellow at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab and a Ph.D. candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, will work primarily on his doctoral research concerning regulatory chilling effects online.

Alberto Pepe, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Astrophysics of Harvard University and co-founder of Authorea, will research and promote Open Science and develop the next generation of tools for the collaborative authorship of research projects.

Molly Sauter, a S.M. candidate in Comparative Media Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will be examining conflicts of anonymity and pseudonymity at the intersections of digital activism and "real life" activism.

Elisabeth Staksrud, a research fellow at the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Oslo, will work on her new book, critically exploring the relationship between NGOs and the Internet industry in the field of online protection of children.

Alexander H. Trechsel, Professor of political science at the European University Institute in Florence, will work on internet voting and, more generally, the transformation of representative democracy in the digital era.

Jessica Valenti, a feminist author and activist, will research and develop a plan for a national think tank grounded in digital feminism and its communities.

Heather Whitney, a J.D. candidate at Harvard Law School, will investigate how we can better leverage social platforms and the rise of citizen science and quantified self to improve health and health research.

John Palfrey will take on the role as a senior research fellow at Berkman while he also transitions to his position of Head of School of Phillips Academy, Andover.  In addition, he will maintain his position as a member of the Berkman Center’s Board of Directors and serve as a principal investigator on selected projects, including the Digital Public Library of America. 

Fellows returning for 2012-2013 include: Dalida Maria Benfield, danah boyd, Ryan Budish, Herbert Burkert, Sandra Cortesi, Juan Carlos de Martin, Judith Donath, Mayo Fuster Morell, Oliver Goodenough, Eszter Hargittai, Jerome Hergueux, Benjamin Mako Hill, Catharina Maracke, Maura Marx, Claire McCarthy, Intisar Rabb, Justin Reich, Hal Roberts, Andy Sellars, Aaron Shaw, Peter Suber, Kevin Wallen, and Christopher Walsh.

Fellowship Advisory Board members, Wendy Seltzer, Jake Shapiro, David Weinberger, and Ethan Zuckerman, will continue their deep involvement in the Center’s activities, fellows program, and growing network of affiliated researchers.

In addition to new and returning fellows and the Fellowship Advisory Board, the Berkman Center will also engage a group of Faculty Associates for the 2012-2013 academic year, including: Mike Ananny, David Ardia, Fernando Bermejo, Jim Bessen, Michael Best, Beth Coleman, Sasha Costanza-Chock, Dan Gillmor, Matt Hindman, Jeffrey Huang, Lewis Hyde, Beth Kolko, Karim Lakhani, Kevin Lewis, Harry Lewis, Wayne Marshall, Miriam Meckel, Carlos Osorio, Mica Pollock, Joseph Reagle, Nagla Rizk, Geanne Rosenberg, Christian Sandvig, Clay Shirky, Zeynep Tufekci, Eric Von Hippel, Dennis Yi Tenen, and Dorothy Zinberg.

About the Berkman Center for Internet and Society:

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development. Founded in 1997, through a generous gift from Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman, the Center is home to an ever-growing community of faculty, fellows, staff, and affiliates working on projects that span the broad range of intersections between cyberspace, technology, and society. More information can be found at

Rebecca Tabasky

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