The Society for Philosophy and Technology, in coordination with the Springer journal Philosophy and Technology (Editor-in-Chief: Luciano Floridi), is proud to announce the winner of the 2017 SPT Early Career Award: Vlad Niculescu-Dincă, of Erasmus University Rotterdam, for the paper “Towards a sedimentology of information infrastructures: A geological approach for understanding the city.”

The paper’s abstract is as follows:

“Drawing primarily on ethnographic research performed in a city in Romania, this paper provides a thick description of police practices and information systems in that municipality. It shows various ways in which technologies mediate policing practitioners’ perceptions, decisions and actions. Bringing some additional material from a case in the Dutch police in which they build risk profiles predicated on real-time data from a sensor network, the paper highlights new phenomena with ethical implications emerging at the intersection of information infrastructures and policing practices. To adequately account for these phenomena the paper proposes the development of a geological approach to the study of urban information infrastructures.”

We would like to congratulate Dr. Niculescu-Dincă as we received many outstanding submissions and the blind review and award selection process was highly competitive. Dr. Niculescu-Dincă’s paper was judged to be the one which, by the criterion of the award announcement, “best embodies exceptional and innovative scholarly work that promises to expand the scope of research in this field.” In line with the award announcement, priority was given to work that “promotes growth and open horizons in philosophical research on technology, for example, by developing new ideas, topics, methodologies, arguments, conceptual frameworks or disciplinary perspectives.”

Vlad Niculescu-Dincă is currently a lecturer at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He received his PhD in 2016 from Maastricht University, for the thesis ”Policing Matter(s). Towards a sedimentology of suspicion in technologically mediated surveillance.” In his research he examined various technologically mediated policing practices, drawing on ethnographic research which he performed at several police organisations. More generally, his research interests include social and ethical aspects of new media technologies as well as qualitative approaches to the design and use of (information) infrastructures. Dr. Niculescu-Dincă holds a masters degree from the University of Twente in Philosophy of Technology and Society, and degrees in software engineering from the Technical Universities of Eindhoven and Bucharest.

The award, which includes a 500 Euro cheque from Springer, will be presented to Dr. Niculescu-Dincă at the closing session of the SPT 2017 biennial meeting in Darmstadt, Germany on June 17 (Click here for more information about the conference.)

We hope many of you will join us there to congratulate Dr. Niculescu-Dincă on his achievement.