Dr Safiya Noble, Miles Conrad Awardee 2023

We’re delighted to announce that Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble, Professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), will be the recipient of the 2023 Miles Conrad Award, NISO’s lifetime achievement award for those working in the information community. She will receive her award at our virtual award ceremony during next year’s NISO Plus conference (from 12.30pm ET on February 15, 2023), where she will also deliver the 2023 Miles Conrad Lecture.

Dr. Noble is an internet studies scholar, whose work is both sociological and interdisciplinary, focusing on the ways that digital media intersects with issues of race, gender, culture, power, and technology. She is the author of Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (NYU Press), a best-selling book on racist and sexist algorithmic bias in commercial search engines, and she has written and spoken widely on issues of discrimination and technology bias, including for The Guardian, the BBC, CNN International, USA Today, Wired, Time, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The New York Times, and a host of network news and podcasts. 

In 2021, Dr. Noble was recognized as a MacArthur Foundation Fellow (also known as the “Genius Award”) for her ground-breaking work on algorithmic discrimination, and in 2022, she was the inaugural recipient of the NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award. She is the Founder and Director of the recently launched Center on Race and Digital Justice — a groundbreaking effort that focuses on accountability and repair from extant and emerging digital harms. She is also the Co-Founder and former Director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2) and current Co-Director of the Minderoo Initiative on Technology & Power. Dr. Noble is a board member of both the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI), serving those vulnerable to online harassment, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, America’s Black think tank, and Color of Change, a civil rights advocacy organization. In 2021, she founded a non-profit, the Equity Engine, to accelerate investment in companies, education, and networks driven by women of color.

Dr. Noble holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Library & Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Fresno where she was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2018. In 2020, she was awarded the Distinguished Alumna Award from the iSchool Alumni Association, and she is also the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Award winner from the Illinois Alumni Association at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the recipient of a Hellman Fellowship and the UCLA Early Career Award. 

“We are delighted to recognize Dr. Noble’s contributions to the information community — and society more widely — through this well-deserved award,” said Todd Carpenter, NISO’s Executive Director. “As an information scientist with a deep understanding of the intersections among culture, race, and gender, her work on issues of algorithmic discrimination and technology bias is shining a much-needed light on the need for greater accountability and regulation of tech companies, especially search engines. Dr. Noble joins a long and distinguished list of Miles Conrad awardees and we very much look forward to her lecture at the NISO Plus 2023 conference.”


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