We believe that science and technology can empower communities—but need to be guided by deep insight into communities’ issues, goals, and strategies. We build that insight using empirical research and social theory.

The Fair Tech Collective trains students from Drexel University to take a critical and constructive approach to science and technology. They learn to collaborate and translate across diverse viewpoints.

Gwen Ottinger.jpg

Gwen Ottinger

lab founder


Associate Professor
Department of Politics
Center for Science, Technology, and Society
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Faculty profile
Download CV

For media inquiries, email Emily Storz at Drexel University or call 215.895.2705 (office) or 609.351.3592 (cell) 


"I began learning from Gwen sixteen years ago. She taught me the fundamentals about citizen science, about sampling, about engaging and informing communities so that they can be their own advocates."

—Anne Rolfes, Founding Director, Louisiana Bucket Brigade

“The Fair Tech Collective gave me the rare opportunity to critically evaluate which features of technology support democratic values, and which suppress them.”

—Amy Gottsegen, Computer Science major, Drexel University


"Dr. Ottinger has provided the space and leadership for community members to collaborate on significant refinery monitoring issues."

—Constance M. Beutel, EdD, Good Neighbor Steering Committee, Benicia, California

"Working with the Fair Tech Collective showed—rather than told—me the importance of technology that is sensitive to the lives of those it affects."

—Derek Parrott, M.S., Science, Technology, and Society, Drexel University, 2016

Recent Activities

On the Web

On The ground

On the page


New op-ed calls out scientization of politics (not just the politicization of science) as an obstacle to better science policy. (Jan. 2019)

The Meaning from Monitoring project received an Honourable Mention for the Society for Social Studies of Science's Making and Doing Prize. (Sep. 2018)

A new analysis of real-time monitoring data calculates the "toxic soup index" in Richmond, CA. Read More. (Aug. 2018)


on the ground

on the page

on the web


Air Watch Bay Area working group hosts a workshop on the future of AWBA. Watch Presentation. (June 2018)

Two new reports, Making the Most of Air Monitoring and Air Watch Bay Area, recommend ways to improve air monitoring and data access for frontline communities. (June 2018)

Air Watch Bay Area goes live in Spanish! (June 2018)




Air Watch Bay Area Report Published in June 2018


Making the Most of Air Monitoring Report Published in June 2018