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Press Release

Jonathan Potts

For immediate release:
May 29, 2003

Carnegie Mellon Will Host Conference To Boost Online, Interactive Democracy

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University will bring together some of the nation's leading experts in using the Internet to promote democracy and citizenship for a seminar June 19-21.

The seminar, Developing and Using Online Tools for Deliberative Democracy, is sponsored by the university's Institute for the Study of Information Technology and Society (InSITeS) and the Center for the Advancement of Applied Ethics (CAAE). The two groups are partners in developing software to enable citizens to use the Internet to learn about, discuss and act on community issues.

The purpose of the seminar is to spark discussions among leading theorists and developers of deliberative democracy software about creating new tools for interactive citizenship. The seminar grew out of a Carnegie Mellon deliberative democracy project funded by a $2.1 million National Science Foundation grant.

"Our overall project is designed to determine the capacity of political communities—on a local, regional, national or even international scale—to use new information technologies to deliberate effectively on policy issues of collective concern," said Peter Shane, distinguished service professor of law and public policy at the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon.

Shane is one of three principal investigators on the project. The others are Robert Cavalier, a senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and director of the multimedia lab in the department's Center for the Advancement of Applied Ethics, and Peter Mulberger, a political scientist and visiting assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon.

For more information about the conference, go to or call Jonathan Potts at 412-268-6094.


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