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Research

Tempe, January 2009

All my research is multi- and interdisciplinary, by design and because it cannot be accomplished
otherwise. My commitment to social justice and equality in science and technology continues to
inform my research and related works in a number of ways. Through my research I strive to gain
deeper understanding on how to instill, maintain and pursue human values, equality, and the
principles of justice in science and technology development and governance.

My research is the core of my academic life and I share it through publishing in high quality
journals and applied outlets, teaching/advising/mentoring students, conference presentations,
collaborating with others on grants, providing public and media outreach, and communicating
with the public through contemporary media (such as blogs, podcasts and youtube).

My research interests revolve around (1) the mutual shaping of technology (including large
technical systems such as cities) and society and (2) political culture of urban science and
technology, in relations to issues of globalization, sustainability, democratization, and (in)equity.

Since starting my appointment at ASU, I have been working on three distinct but
co-informed research programs. The first program, which is the largest and best represented in
my publications, is on the mutual shaping of the new media and information and communication technology (ICT), particularly the Internet, and society — looking from political and cultural perspectives.
Under this program, I have developed research activities ranging from individual research (e.g. on the socio-political history of the Internet in Indonesia, Internet and religious movements) to collaborative research both with other researchers working on the socio-political dimension of the new media & ICT and with civil society organizations.

The second program, also represented in my publications, expands the domain of my analysis
from cyber-infrastructure to the built infrastructure of urban and civic spaces. This research
program, in collaboration with several researchers from the US and Asia, attempts to trace the
impacts of globalization on the sustainability and the livability of cities, particularly with regard
to community and public life in Pacific Asia.
In the near future, starting September 2010, this program will include an investigation into the nano-enabled city of the future through my involvement with “Nano and the City” thematic research cluster of the (extension of) NSF funded project at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS) led by David Guston.

The third program involves expanding my view to non-Western perspectives on science and technology more generally. It is entitled “Alternative Imaginations: Rethinking Knowledge Systems.” Started in Spring 2008 with some colleagues at ASU, this program represents my attempt to create an intellectual space for epistemological and ontological discourses in science, technology, and policy discussions beyond first world perspectives.

merlyna lim

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