[FELLOWSHIP] Early Career Scholar of the Fung Global Fellows Program at Princeton University

Princeton University Post Card

A majestic window of Princeton University. A former roommate of mine gifted me this postcard upon her visit to Princeton for a conference in 2014. Image copyright: Princeton University.

I have been awarded the Fung Global Fellowship (Early-Career Scholar Track) at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) at Princeton University for the 2021-2022 academic year for my research proposal, ‘Governing a Pandemic with Data on the Contactless Path to AI: Personal Data, Public Health, and the Digital Divide in South Korea, Europe and the United States in Tracking of COVID-19’. This work is already under review for a special issue on COVID-19 at the renowned Italian journal, Partecipazione e Conflitto, as I originally intended for the piece to be read by the European audience.

Under the fellowship theme, ‘Sustainable Futures,’ I will conduct research from Seoul in Fall 2021, and relocate to Princeton if/when COVID-19 restrictions in Spring 2022. Personally, it is a great honor for me to be awarded the fellowship from the alma mater of my PhD adviser, William W. Grimes. (And the greatest perk being the Firestone Library access!)

Princeton University Post Card (Back)

My proposed works for the Fung Global Fellows Program.

Based on the work already conducted on data deployment in tracking of COVID-19, I plan to widen the research scope to investigate the varied levels of data governance and deployment of AI tools in COVID-19 vaccination processes across various jurisdictions. I originally prepared a subsequent project proposal, The Role of Data Governance in Efficient Vaccination and Prophylaxis: A Comparative Study of Streamlined Vaccination Processes and Detection of Virus Mutations,’ to the International Covid-19 Data Alliance (ICODA) by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Unfortunately, I could not secure institutional arrangements on time for submission. With research funding from PIIRS, I would be able to launch the project and conduct comparative research.

Regarding big data deployment in the medical field, in South Korea, there is already a pilot process concerning the deployment of big data analysis of rare diseases at major hospitals (not yet under the Medical Service Act). Data privacy, data collection, data processing and control are the gravest issues of our time under this horrible pandemic, and I hope to address what the sustainable future should look like if we are to accept further deployment of data use when AI tools become the main mode of life.

Under the fellowship theme, ‘Sustainable Futures,’ I will be working on my project alongside two other early-career scholars and three other postdoctoral fellows. I’m looking forward to learning about what they think sustainable futures should look like.

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