Phoebe Sengers, professor of information science in the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science and science & technology studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been elected to the CHI Academy, an honorary group of leading scholars in the field of human-computer interaction.

Led by the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer–Human Interaction (SIGCHI), the CHI Academy annually elects a cohort of scholars whose contributions have helped shape the discipline and/or industry, as well as spurred further research and innovation. Sengers is one of eight selected for this year’s cohort. She joins fellow Cornellians Sue Fussell, professor of information science in Cornell Bowers CIS and communication in College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Tanzeem Choudhury, the Roger and Joelle Burnell Professor in Integrated Health and Technology at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech in Information Sciences, who were elected to the CHI Academy in 2016 and 2022, respectively.

Sengers’ work integrates ethnographic and historical analysis of the social implications of technology with design methods to suggest alternative future possibilities. Her approach brings critical, qualitative scholarship into close conversation with technology design practice to ask what ways of being and values are left out of the imagination of technology design, and what new alternatives for design may appear when we take those ways of being and values into account. Her current research focuses on technology on the rural and remote periphery, identifying how urban assumptions in the design of infrastructure tend to sideline rural communities; she is using this work to develop an alternative design imaginary that centers small-scale places.

At Cornell, Sengers directs the Culturally Embedded Computing research group. She is also affiliated with the departments of Computer Science, Visual Studies, and Art, a member of the Cornell Institute for Digital Agriculture, and a faculty fellow of the Atkinson Center for Sustainability.

Her many awards and honors include a Cornell Public Voices Fellowship (2017), a Fellow in the Cornell Society for the Humanities (2007), a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award (2003), and a Fulbright Fellowship (1998). 

By Louis DiPietro, a writer for the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science.