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Francine Berman - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Francine Berman

Stuart Rice Honorary Chair and Research Professor, Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Francine Berman is a data scientist whose work focuses on the social and environmental impacts of information technology.

Expertise (7)

Gender and whistleblowing

Social impacts of Technology

Internet of Things

Data Stewardship and Cyberinfrastructure

Public Interest Technology




Francine Berman is a highly-recognized data scientist whose work focuses on the social and environmental impacts of information technology, and in particular of the Internet of Things – a deeply interconnected ecosystem of billions of devices and systems that are transforming commerce, science and society.

Berman's recent research exploring the role of whistleblowers in the technology industry, and examining why so many prominent whistleblowers are women has been reported widely.

In 2015, Berman was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become a member of the National Council on the Humanities. In 2019, she was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2020, Berman was elected to be a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Social Media






Mar 17: Fran Berman Keynote at the Symposium on Computing for the Common Good Building the Internet of Things for the Common Good - Fran Berman 5 Questions with Fran Berman Navigating an imperfect, messy data world. Machine Learning for Knowledge Representation & Reasoning from Document Collections


Education (3)

University of Washington: Ph.D., Computer Science

University of Washington: M.A., Computer Science

UCLA: B.A., Mathematics

Select Media Coverage (3)

Roundtable Panel

WAMC  radio


Francine Berman, discusses the possibility of another government shutdown and Mike Johnson’s role in trying to rein in the GOP. “What this reminds me of is … [when] you read these baby books that say, ‘how do you handle kids with tantrums?’ which is very much what [Mike Johnson] has to do. And the baby book that I read said, don’t let the tantrum determine what you’re going to do. [His] job is the same thing: these guys—not all guys—are going to throw tantrums on a regular basis and he has to figure out how to get the job done. And at some point they may just end up kicking him out and then they’ll get kabuki theater again.”

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A Professor Encouraged Students to Use ChatGPT. OpenAI Asked Her What She Learned

Yahoo! Life  online


Rather than pretend ChatGPT doesn’t exist, Dr. Francine Berman told students in her Introduction to Public Interest Technology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst this spring that they could use the artificial intelligence (AI) tool to help them write their papers, if they wanted to.

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When Women Blow the Whistle

Magazine of the Society of Women Engineers  online


Francine Berman describes her research looking at why so many tech whistleblowers are women. “In many professions such as big tech or engineering, women tend to be a pretty small percentage. And when they are a small percentage, there’s issues in terms of inclusion, and feeling a sense of solidarity or insider status with the unit or the institution," she says.

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Select Publications (1)

Why are so many big tech whistleblowers women? Here is what the research shows

The Conversation

Francine Berman and Jennifer Lundquist


A number of high-profile whistleblowers in the technology industry have stepped into the spotlight in the past few years. ... Many of these whistleblowers are women – far more, it appears, than the proportion of women working in the tech industry. This raises the question of whether women are more likely to be whistleblowers in the tech field. The short answer is: “It is complicated.”

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