The Center for Information Technology and Society (CITS) is a multidisciplinary endeavor at UCSB spanning the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Engineering. Our overarching goal is to apply the knowledge of these diverse perspectives to understand the development, use, and effects of information technologies in contemporary society. To achieve this, CITS hosts conferences, workshops, and speakers, supports a variety of working groups, and provides administrative support for the Ph.D. Emphasis in Information Technology and Society. CITS is composed of a vibrant group of active researchers at UCSB who are affiliated with the Center and is guided by a world-renowned advisory board.


Societies are witnessing the complex ways that technological development stimulates social innovations that, in turn, profoundly change the ways people live, work, and interact. People also radically repurpose and reconfigure technologies as they adopt—and adapt—these technologies. Researchers from every field should join in multidisciplinary efforts to deepen our collective understanding of the cultural transitions and social innovations associated with technology.

Core Beliefs

  1. We are specialists in the technology/society relationship. Analyzing rapid social and technological transitions is a skill set that CITS researchers have developed and are committed to refining, teaching, sharing, and deploying.
  2. Excellence grows from interdisciplinary teams. Understanding the social implications of digital technologies requires interdisciplinary teamwork.
  3. We create and study technology. Social understandings can be embedded in, and thereby improve, new technological innovations.
  4. We connect technology with humanity. Understanding how people use, adopt, adapt, and create technologies can help us understand what it means to be human.

Three Core Activities

  1. We research. At CITS, interdisciplinary teams composed of nationally and internationally recognized scholars study how societies and social groups are affected by technologies and how social dynamics impact technological innovation and diffusion.
  2. We educate. CITS is dedicated to refining and passing along the skills involved in understanding transitions in technological and social environments to the next generation of researchers, inventors, educators, policy-makers, and citizens. We offer a PhD emphasis in Technology and Society and involve undergraduate and graduate students in our research.
  3. We connect people. It is vital that we connect with other academic units on campus and at other institutions, with industry, with policy-makers, and with the wider public. We accomplish this through public lectures, conferences, media outreach, multimedia content on our website, and a quarterly newsletter.