Based in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's (RPI) Department of Science
and Technology Studies, *The Asthma Files* is an experiment in ethnography,
and in science, health and environmental communication. While examining
ways asthma is understood, cared for and governed in varied settings, it
also examines how digital tools can be used to support new research
practices and new ways of enrolling audiences in the process of
ethnographic knowledge production. The project responds to dramatic
increases in asthma incidence in the United States and globally in recent
decades, and to wide acknowledgment that new forms of asthma knowledge are
needed. The project aims to advance understanding of how knowledge about
asthma and other complex conditions can be produced and configured,
leveraging digital tools to enable new modes of collaboration among
humanities researchers, and news ways of presenting and disseminating
Through a collaboration with the RPI Tetherless World Constellation, *The
Asthma Files* also will implement capacity to utilize large data sets,
information modeling, social network analysis, and semantic web
capabilities to address humanities questions in non-traditional ways. This
will produce new ethnographic material and interpretation, while advancing
methodological understanding of how digital techniques can be used in
To help us with this research project, we are looking for someone
knowledgeable with Plone, the open source content management system, Zope,
the open source database system, and Python. Some example projects might
1) Theme customization.
2) Implement new workflows for different users: members, editors,
3) Develop new objects types.
4) Feedback and development functions.
5) Make a 3rd party extension to Plone so that other research groups can
download platform without content.
6) Evaluate security permissions.
7) Integration of existing research tools with Plone:
Work experience with Plone, Zope, and Python.
STS PhD Candidate
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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