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Science’s Impact On Society

Author Dr. Nicole Oehmen
Director of Sociology
School of Arts & Sciences

Meet Dr. Alondra Nelson, former Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and current Harold F. Linder Professor at the Institution for Advanced Study and president of the Social Science Research Council. Dr. Nelson’s recent appointment to the position of Deputy Director for Science and Society for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy last month has been lauded by many prominent scholars. As Subbaraman reports in Nature , scholars say her directorship “emphasizes the importance of science’s effect on society, and vice versa.” In an email to Nature, after deeming her appointment an “inspired choice,” Princeton University professor Keith Wailoo , PhD in the History and Sociology of Science, described Dr. Nelson’s “scholarship on genetics, social inequality and medical discrimination” as “deeply insightful and hugely influential across multiple fields, most notably because of its focus on excellence, equity and fairness in scientific and medical innovation.”

The focus of Dr. Nelson’s scholarship provides a shining example to which all sociologists can aspire. Research and conversations, such as those Dr. Nelson facilitated around Afrofuturism that contribute to the ongoing project of racial equality in all fields, including healthcare, technological innovation, and the arts are vitally important this Black History Month and beyond. The sociology program at Carolina University provides the training in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies necessary to tackle a range of timely research questions as well as the development of a sociological imagination that makes our graduates assets to any endeavor. CU sociology majors recognize that all science and innovation is produced within specific social contexts. This makes them stand out as leaders and critical thinkers in any chosen future trajectory. If you’re interested in learning more about pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at Carolina University, please visit the department website, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology | Carolina University, or email program director Dr. Nicole Oehmen at oehmenn@carolinau.edu.


Esports: The Global Competition

Author Olivia Stenstad
Esports Lecturer
School of Arts & Sciences

Since its beginning back in 2009, Riot Games (the parent company of League of Legends) has been hosting League of Legends World Championship tournaments every year; pitting the best players from all across the world against one another. Worlds 2020 was the 10th anniversary of League of Legends, hosting a total of 24 teams from various regions, and with a prize pool of $2,225,000 USD. Riot Games decided to host their event this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This differs from other esports titles such as Dota 2, Fortnite, CSGO, Overwatch, and Rocket League, which canceled their competitive esports events due to the pandemic. The 2020 League of Legends World Championship had a duration just shy of a month and was hosted in China this year. Teams from across the globe traveled to Shanghai to participate in this event. Riot Games ensured safety precautions were put in place, so all members stayed safe.

A bubble was created for the event where only those directly involved with the event would be able to attend. This is in stark contrast to previous years where the events were held in massive sporting areas and stages with thousands of fans attending. This year the majority of the events would have no spectators in person, and everything would be streamed online to a live audience. Other measures were also put in place to keep everyone in the bubble safe. Teams were required to quarantine for a total of 14 days before they could interact with other teams. After the 14 day quarantine ended for each player, they could then see their peers and other teams but were required to wear masks and socially distance from each other. In addition, players were tested weekly for COVID-19 and were given daily temperature checks. Due to travel restrictions, there were also regions that were not allowed to attend, such as Vietnam. However, despite COVID-19 Riot games was able to host a successful event, with a total of 3.8 million people tuning in to watch League of Legends Worlds Finals 2020.

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