Joel Beatty

Joel Beatty

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PhD Student

Biography

Research Interests:
Science and Technology Studies, Rhetoric of Science, History of Science, Philosophy of Technology, Technical Communication, Digital Media, Visual Studies, Communication Across Disciplines 

Current Research:
PhD Title: “On The Logic, Method and Scientific Diversity Of Technical Systems: An Inquiry into the Diagnostic Measurement of Human Skin” (Defended Nov. 4th 2016)

Dissertation Overview:
My dissertation explores some of the scientific, technical and cultural history of human skin measurement and diagnostics. Through a significant collection of primary texts and case studies, I track the changing technologies and methods used to measure skin, as well as the scientific and sociotechnical applications. I then map these histories onto some of the diverse understandings of the human body, physics, biology, natural philosophy and language that underpinned the scientific enterprise of skin measurement. The main argument of my thesis demonstrates how these diverse histories of science historically and theoretically inform the succeeding methods and applications for skin measurement from early Greek medicine, to beginnings of Anthropology as scientific discipline, to the age of digital imaging analysis, remote sensing, algorithms, massive databases and biometric technologies; further, these new digital applications go beyond just health diagnostics and are creating new technical categorizations of human skin divorced from the established ethical mechanisms of modern science. Based on this research, I inquire how communication practices within the scientific enterprise address the ethical and historical implications for a growing set of digital biometric applications with industrial, military, sociopolitical and public functions.       

Teaching Overview:
As a PhD student at Michigan Tech, I’ve had the opportunity to teach a variety of courses, including Technical Communication, Composition, Intro to Film, and Public Speaking and Multimedia. These experiences have also been supported by teaching practicum-based classes, with access to digital technologies and software, as well as ample support from faculty to help grow as an instructor.  

Department Activities:
In the past I have worked as a graduate administrator in the Multiliteracies center (MTMC), and the Humanities Digital Media Zone (HDMZ). I have also fulfilled the duties of the HU-Grad coordinator that serves RTC grad students by working with others to plan social events and graduate colloquiums.

Grad Life:
The Keweenaw Peninsula is a special place with plenty of outdoor recreation and beauty keep my free time occupied all year around. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t get out and enjoy the Michigan Tech Trails, or find some single track on my mountain bike. 

Research Interests

  • Science and Technology Studies, Rhetoric of Science, History of Science, Philosophy of Technology, Technical Communication, Digital Media, Visual Studies, Communication Across Disciplines