The Science & Justice Research Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz is a globally unique endeavor that innovates experimental spaces, engages in collaborative research practices, and fosters emerging alliances between seemingly disparate sectors, disciplines and communities. Biomedical innovation, species extinction, toxic ecologies, healthcare reform, and many other contemporary matters of concern provoke questions that traverse multiple intellectual, institutional and ethico-political worlds. Science & Justice generates modes of inquiry and empirically rigorous research that address these enormous challenges and support livable worlds. The Center is home to the Science and Justice Working Group, graduate training programs and sponsored research projects. The initiative builds on the UCSC campus’ historic commitments to socioecological justice and strengths in science studies and interdisciplinary research.
Over the past decade, we have developed four key strategies for creating and building new spaces, visions, and practices for science & justice:
Forging Experimental Spaces
What happens when soil scientists, poets, and farm workers come together in a room, called together by a weighty problem, even when they disagree about its very definition?
Improvising Collaborative Practices
How might research practices change in the process of their disagreements, knowledge exchanges and working together?
Cultivating Emergent Alliances
What if scholars in fields as disparate as physics and public health engage in alliance building efforts with artists and community activists?
Building Civic Spaces
How should diverse communities, scholars, and policy makers engage in debate and create accountable, transparent institutions?