A picture of a blur strawberry

Book Release! Julie Guthman on Wilted: Pathogens, Chemicals, and the Fragile Future of the Strawberry Industry (UC Press, 2019),

Book Cover for Guthman’s “Wilted: Pathogens, Chemicals, and the Fragile Future of the Strawberry Industry”.

About the Book

Strawberries are big business in California. They are the sixth-highest-grossing crop in the state, which produces 88 percent of the nation’s favorite berry. Yet the industry is often criticized for its backbreaking labor conditions and dependence on highly toxic soil fumigants used to control fungal pathogens and other soilborne pests. In Wilted: Pathogens, Chemicals, and the Fragile Future of the Strawberry Industry (UC Press, 2019), Science & Justice Affiliate, UC Santa Cruz Professor of Social Sciences Julie Guthman tells the story of how the strawberry industry came to rely on soil fumigants, and how that reliance reverberated throughout the rest of the fruit’s production system. The particular conditions of plants, soils, chemicals, climate, and laboring bodies that once made strawberry production so lucrative in the Golden State have now changed and become a set of related threats that jeopardize the future of the industry.

Julie Guthman is Professor of Social Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her previous books include Agrarian Dreams: The Paradox of Organic Farming in California and Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice, and the Limits of Capitalism.

Find out more in this campus news article:

Strawberries: The tasty fruit with a tainted environmental legacy and an uncertain future

TBD | Science & Justice Writing Together

Day and Time TBD

SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

Wanting to establish a regular writing routine exploring science and justice? Join SJRC scholars in the SJRC Common Room for open writing sessions! Engage in six 25-minute writing sessions (with a 5 minute break in between). Open to all students, faculty and visiting scholars.

We continue to schedule quarterly writing sessions based on interest and availability. For more information or to express interest, please contact SJRC Graduate Student Researcher Dennis Browe (sociology).

October 09, 2019 | Meet & Greet

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

4:00-5:30 PM

SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

Please join us for a beginning of quarter social hour. In addition to a chance to celebrate the new academic year and enjoy each other’s company over nice food and drink, we will be welcoming new members of our community, and welcoming back others.

This will be a great chance for everyone to meet and foster emerging collaborations! Attendees are highly encouraged to bring and share their objects of study as it is a fun and helpful way to find intersecting areas of interest.

Faculty or students interested in science and justice who want to learn more about SJRC, the Training Program offered in Winter 2020, or would like to affiliate with Science & Justice are highly encouraged to join us.

The Science & Justice Research Center is located on the second floor of the Oakes College Administrative Building, at the end the hallway to the left of the Mural Room as you come up the stairs; an elevator is located at the end of the building to the right.

October 16, 2019 | Ruha Benjamin on A New Jim Code?

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

2:00-4:00pm

Merrill Cultural Center

A New Jim Code? Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life

From everyday apps to complex algorithms, technology has the potential to hide, speed, and even deepen discrimination, while appearing neutral and even benevolent when compared to racist practices of a previous era. Benjamin will present the concept of the “New Jim Code” to explore a range of discriminatory designs that encode inequity: by explicitly amplifying racial hierarchies, by ignoring but thereby replicating social divisions, or by aiming to fix racial bias but ultimately doing quite the opposite. We will also consider how race itself is a kind of tool designed to stratify and sanctify social injustice and discuss how technology is and can be used toward liberatory ends. Benjamin will take us into the world of biased bots, altruistic algorithms, and their many entanglements, and provides conceptual tools to decode tech promises with sociologically informed skepticism. In doing so, it challenges us to question not only the technologies we are sold, but also the ones we manufacture ourselves.

Ruha Benjamin is an Associate Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, where she studies the social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine. Ruha is the founder of the JUST DATA Lab and the author of two books, People’s Science  (Stanford) and Race After Technology (Polity), and editor of Captivating Technology (Duke). Ruha writes, teaches, and speaks widely about the relationship between knowledge and power, race and citizenship, health and justice.

Further reading:

Innovating inequity: If Race is a Technology, Postracialism is the Genius Bar

Black Afterlives Matter: Cultivating Kinfulness as Reproductive Justice

 

Q&A to be Moderated by SJRC’s Theorizing Race After Race cluster.

Co-Sponsored by Crown College.

November 6, 2019 | Informational meeting for new cohort of Science & Justice Training Program

The Science and Justice Research Center will host an Informational Meeting on our internationally recognized interdisciplinary Graduate Training and Certificate Program:

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

12:00-1:30PM

Graduate Student Commons 204

Our Science and Justice Training Program (SJTP) is a globally unique initiative that trains doctoral students to work across the disciplinary boundaries of the natural and social sciences, engineering, humanities and the arts. Through the SJTP we at UC Santa Cruz currently teach new generations of PhD students the skills of interdisciplinary collaboration, ethical deliberation, and public communication. Students in the program design collaborative research projects oriented around questions of science and justice. These research projects not only contribute to positive outcomes in the wider world, they also become the templates for new forms of problem-based and collaborative inquiry within and beyond the university.

As SJTP students graduate they take the skills and experience they gained in the training program into the next stage of their career in universities, industry, non-profits, and government.

Opportunities include graduate Certificate Program, experience organizing and hosting colloquia series about the research projects, mentorship, potential for additional research funding and training in conducting interdisciplinary research at the intersections of science and society.

WINTER 2020 COURSE:

Science & Justice: Experiments in Collaboration (SOCY/BME/FMST 268A and ANTH 267), Prof. Jenny Reardon, scheduled tentatively Wednesdays 9am-12noon (to be confirmed). Enrollment in the course is required for participating in the Training Program. Attending the informational meeting is strongly encouraged, but not required.

Students from all disciplines are encouraged to attend

Prior graduate fellows have come from every campus Division.

20 Represented Departments: Anthropology, Biomolecular Engineering, Digital Arts & New Media, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Education, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Feminist Studies, Film & Digital Media, History of Consciousness, Latin American & Latino Studies, Literature, Math, Philosophy, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, and Visual Studies.

Past collaborative research projects have included:

  • Physicists working with small scale farmers to develop solar greenhouses scaled to local farming needs.
  • Colloquia about the social and political consequences of scientific uncertainties surrounding topics such as climate change research, food studies, genomics and identity.
  • Examining how art can empower justice movements.
  • Working with local publics to improve African fishery science.

For more information on the Science & Justice Training Program, visit: https://scijust.ucsc.edu/about-sjrc/sjtp/

Join the SJRC at the October 9th Meet & Greet from 4:00-5:30 in the SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231!

November 12, 2019 | Forensic Genomics for Investigators P.O.S.T. Course

8:30am – 5:00pm

Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office Community Room

5200 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Course Description

This 8-hour course is designed to assist understanding and engagement with new genomic technologies that are increasingly common as investigative leads, such as, DNA-predicted physical appearance (hair/eye/skin color, face shape) and ancestry estimations.

This course provides foundational information about the use and limitations of genomic technologies in the context of casework (both criminal and missing persons). Through activities and discussions, course participants will engage some of the common contexts in applying these DNA evidences to casework, such as translating ancestry to race labels, accounting for the accuracy of the genetic prediction in your investigation, and using the genetic results to narrow down your leads.

The course also offers a step-by-step guide to deciding which investigative genetics technology is right for an array of casework contexts (e.g. low quality DNA, DNA mixture, lead or no lead, skeletal DNA, touch DNA, diversity of suspect pool).

Cost

No fee

Objectives

To improve the attendee’s understanding of the uses and limitations of genetic predictors of physical appearance and ancestry in case investigations. To develop a protocol for assessing the most useful genetic test (beyond CODIS), given the quality of the DNA and the case context. To provide a network of genetic researchers and practitioners for consultation.

Prerequisites and Eligibility

Must be currently employed by a Law Enforcement Agency. Participation in this workshop is limited to law enforcement practitioners where having an up-to-date grasp of genomic technological applications is imperative. This workshop is formatted and approved as an accredited continuing education course through the Commission for Peace Officers Standards and Training for California law enforcement.

Special Instructions 

An anonymous survey may be emailed to you prior to the start of the course to better understand the incoming perspectives and interests of the attendees.

To Register

Qualified participants are to enroll through https://post.ca.gov/Training. Contact Dr. Cris Hughes at postgenomicscourse@gmail.com refer to POST Plan: N/A POST Course Number: 3180-11160-19. Participation will be capped at 65 attendees.

For information about the hosting agency, contact Dr. Lauren Zephro; lauren.zephro@santacruzcounty.us.

Course Instructors

Dr. Cris Hughes, Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Alison Galloway, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, UC Santa Cruz 

Dr. Chelsey Juarez, Assistant Professor, California State University, Fresno

Dr. Lauren Zephro, Forensic Services Director, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office

Sponsored By

The UC Santa Cruz Science & Justice Research Center, the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

November 19, 2019 | Forensic Genomics for Investigators Panel

Wednesday, November 19

Time and Location to be confirmed.

Science & Justice Visiting Scholar and UC Santa Cruz Anthropology Alum, Cris Hughes, reunites academics and forensic technicians to discuss historical and current field training to better understand genomic technological applications, the problems and limits of interpretation, the resources available, and the incentives technicians face tied to case resolution.

Looking at police and lay perceptions of race, ancestry, and physical appearance, as well as the caveats with new genetic tools like HIrisPlex and Parabon’s® Snapshot® that are being incorporated into case investigations at an alarming rate, this event follows the outcomes of the recently launched Forensic Genomics for Investigators course first offered for California investigators through P.O.S.T. November 12, 2019 here in Santa Cruz.

Cris Hughes is a forensic anthropologist interested in perceptions of race, and the use of ancestry in both forensic investigations and the practice of forensic anthropology. Cris uses genetic and skeletal data to study estimates of ancestry in present day Latin American populations and is particularly interested in how ancestry as a piece of information drawn from the body, can impact the identification process of that person. As an Assistant Clinical Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Cris has lectured at  annual Genomics for™ workshops (e.g. Genomics for™ Teachers, Genomics for™ Judges, Genomics for™ Prosecutors, and Genomics for™ Police) since 2013 as an outreach affiliate for the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the UIUC. Recently, Cris’ work with ancestry is centered around the deaths of migrants along the US-Mexico border. Cris is a visiting scholar with the UC Santa Cruz Science & Justice Research Center, and UC Santa Cruz Anthropology alum.

Bridget Algee-Hewitt (Senior Research Scientist, Humanities and Sciences Interdepartmental Programs, Stanford) is a biological anthropologist who studies skeletal and genetic trait variation in modern humans. Her research combines data analytic and hands-on laboratory approaches to the estimation of the personal identity parameters – like sex, ancestry, stature, and age – that are essential components of the biological profile used in forensic identification of unknown human remains and for the paleodemographic reconstruction of past population histories in bioarchaeology. Concerns for social justice, human rights, and issues of group disparities underlie much of her work. As a practicing forensic anthropologist and geneticist, she provides forensic casework consultation to the medico-legal community.

Co-Sponsored By: The UC Santa Cruz Science & Justice Research Center, the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the UC Santa Cruz Institute for Social Transformation and the Anthropology Department.

November 21, 2019 | Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Database

Thursday, November 21, 2019

7:10-8:45pm Cultural Center at Merrill

Hosted by the Crown College Core Course (Ethical and Political Implications of Emerging Technologies) and the Science & Justice Research Center, with an introduction from Kim TallBear.

Jessica Kolopenuk will talk with Science & Justice and the Crown College about the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women database. For resources, news articles, tool-kits and webinars that frame the issues, refer to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center‘s page on the special collection.

Read or Listen to: Native American Activists Look To Next Steps After Murdered And Missing Indigenous Women Study Bill Passes (3/21/19)

Jessica Kolopenuk (Cree, Peguis First Nation) is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta and Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria. Her doctoral project, The Science of Indigeneity: DNA Beyond Ancestry is a study of how, in Canada, genomic biotechnologies are impacting definitions of Indigeneity in the fields of forensic science, biomedical research, and physical anthropology. She identifies opportunities where Indigenous peoples may intervene to govern the genetic/genome sciences that affect their bodies, territories, and peoples. Over the past two years, with TallBear, she has been involved with co-developing the Indigenous Science, Technology, and Society Research and Training Program at the UofA. Jessica is a co-organizer of the Summer internship for INdigenous peoples in Genomics Canada (SING Canada).

Kim TallBear (UCSC HistCon, SJRC Advisor) Associate Professor, Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta, and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience & Environment. She is building a research hub in Indigenous Science, Technology, and Society (www.IndigenousSTS.com). Follow them at @indigenous_sts. TallBear is author of Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science (University of Minnesota Press, 2013). Her Indigenous STS work recently turned to also address decolonial and Indigenous sexualities. She founded a University of Alberta arts-based research lab and co-produces the sexy storytelling show, Tipi Confessions, sparked by the popular Austin, Texas show, Bedpost Confessions. Building on lessons learned with geneticists about how race categories get settled, TallBear is working on a book that interrogates settler-colonial commitments to settlement in place, within disciplines, and within monogamous, state-sanctioned marriage. She is a citizen of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in South Dakota. She tweets @KimTallBear and @CriticalPoly.

December 04, 2019 | Surrogate Humanity: Race, Robots, and the Politics of Technological Futures

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

4:00-6:00 PM

Engineering 2, 599

Co-authors Neda Atanasoski (UCSC Feminist Studies, CRES) and Kalindi Vora (UC Davis Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies) will present on their new book Surrogate Humanity: Race, Robots, and the Politics of Technological Futures (Duke University Press, March 2019).

 

Book Description

In Surrogate Humanity Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora trace the ways in which robots, artificial intelligence, and other technologies serve as surrogates for human workers within a labor system entrenched in racial capitalism and patriarchy. Analyzing myriad technologies, from sex robots and military drones to sharing economy platforms, Atanasoski and Vora show how liberal structures of antiblackness, settler colonialism, and patriarchy are fundamental to human-machine interactions as well as the very definition of the human. While these new technologies and engineering projects promise a revolutionary new future, they replicate and reinforce racialized and gendered ideas about devalued work, exploitation, dispossession, and capitalist accumulation. Yet, even as engineers design robots to be more perfect versions of the human—more rational killers, more efficient workers, and tireless companions—the potential exists to develop alternative modes of engineering and technological development in ways that refuse the racial and colonial logics that maintain social hierarchies and inequality.

About The Authors

Neda Atanasoski is Professor of Feminist Studies and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and author of Humanitarian Violence: The U.S. Deployment of Diversity.

Kalindi Vora is Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Davis, and author of Life Support: Biocapital and the New History of Outsourced Labor.

January 22-23, 2020 | Alondra Nelson

Wednesday and Thursday, January 22-23, 2020

Times/Locations: TBD

Details coming soon…

Alondra Nelson is president of the Social Science Research Council and professor of sociology at Columbia University. A scholar of science, technology, and social inequality, she is the author most recently of The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome. Her publications also include a symposium in the British Journal of Sociology on history, genealogy, and the #GU272, and the books Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical DiscriminationGenetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History; and Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life. More at http://www.alondranelson.com/.