COVID-19: Open Letters

The SJRC has a robust network of local and international public health experts, scholars, and practitioners leading the way with collecting resources for teaching about COVID-19, writing open response letters and calls to action.

Help Spread the Word of These Open Letters

Achieving A Fair and Effective COVID-19 Response: An Open Letter to Vice-President Mike Pence, and Other Federal, State and Local Leaders from Public Health and Legal Experts in the United States

America’s Bioethicists: Government Must Use Federal Powers to Fight Covid-19

COVID-19: Calls-To-Action

The SJRC has a robust network of local and international public health experts, scholars, and practitioners leading the way with collecting resources for teaching about COVID-19, writing open response letters and calls to action.

Help Spread the Word of These Calls for Action

PIH Health is preparing for a shortage of personal protective by calling for donations (March 21, 2020)

A powerful call for action from ER doctor, Joshua Lerner for the urgent need to shift production to focus on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) manufacturing to protect those on the frontline.(March 21, 2020)

UCSC scientists round-up supplies for local doctors to combat COVID-19 (March 18, 2020)

Contexts Magazine: Sociology for the Public Call for Papers (March 15, 2020)


COVID-19: Resources for Teaching

The SJRC has a robust network of local and international public health experts, scholars, and practitioners leading the way with collecting resources for teaching about COVID-19, writing open response letters and calls to action.

Looking to teach about Covid-19 (coronavirus)?

Follow the conversation on Twitter via #teachthevirus, #CoronaVirusSyllabus, and #CoronaSyllabus

Open Access Reading Lists


Teaching COVID-19: An Anthropology Syllabus Project

UC Santa Cruz Spring 2020 Courses addressing COVID-19

SOCY 139T-02: Coronavirus and community: Sociological research on impacts and responses to the pandemic, will center around a recently released call for papers from Contexts Magazine: Sociology for the Public. Taking a social science perspective and building on students’ own interests, the course will provide support for independent research projects that explore COVID-19 from a variety of vantage points. For example, students might explore the ways that the pandemic has affected election politics, food security, access to health care for college students, quality of education, income inequality, continuity of work, social isolation, or a variety of other topics. Research could include exploration of news or social media coverage, online surveys, historical analyses, ethnography, interviews (conducted remotely), community mapping, or other methods. Students will choose their own research topic and conduct an original research project, working through the research design, data collection, analysis, and writing process through the course. Instructor: Rebecca London. Enrollment is by application and permission of the instructor.

SOCY 194: Living and Learning in a Pandemic: The Sociology of COVID-19, will draw upon insights from the Sociology of Medicine, Science and Technology Studies, Feminist Studies and Critical Race Theory to study the current pandemic, COVID-19. The class will be part seminar and part group research. During the first two weeks of class, students will form research teams to focus on various aspects of the pandemic, and how different communities and sectors of society are responding. Key questions at the heart of our discussions will be: How are ‘health,’ ‘society,’ the ‘self,’ and ‘community’ being remade in this moment? Who and what has the authority and trust needed to remake these vital things, and effectively govern and respond to this global health crisis? Key themes will include: trust in science and government; new forms of stratification; medicalization; labor on the frontline (new vulnerabilities); the crisis of neoliberalism; a new social contract for public health and justice. Periodically, students will hear from guest lecturers who are on the frontlines of the pandemic, including labor organizers, public health professionals and scientists. Students will both produce independent research and works of public sociology designed to help share information with their communities about the pandemic. Prerequisites: SOCY121, SOCY 121G, an equivalent class, or have been admitted to the Science & Justice Internship/IS program by permission of instructor. Instructor: J. Reardon. Limited to 20 students.

April 22: Giving Day fundraiser for Science & Justice Training Program

Wednesday, April 22, 2020


Join the Science & Justice Research Center at UC Santa Cruz on Wednesday April 22nd, for Giving Day, a 24-hour online fundraising drive!

Help us celebrate the 10 year anniversary of our Science & Justice Training Program (SJTP) by supporting our graduate student researchers through the Science & Justice campaign. Incentives to give include matching funds: if you are interested in matching funds, please email


Started in 2010 with a grant from the National Science Foundation, 2020 marks the ten year anniversary of the internationally-recognized Science & Justice Training Program (SJTP). Now more than ever the training offered by the SJTP is critical to addressing the problems of our times: ecological destruction; data justice; growing inequalities. These are problems that are not the domain of one discipline or area of practice. They require working across fields of knowledge and practice. The SJTP provides the space and transdisciplinary tools and thought needed for social science, humanities, engineering, physical and biological science, and art students to collaborate to respond to core concerns of our times.

Our Science & Justice Training Program trains the next generation of researchers to maximize the public good of science and technology.

Why Support S&J

Central to the success of our students is their ability to work on their Science & Justice projects during the summer. With your help, we can offer summer fellowships that supports this critical dimension of the training of these future leaders of science and justice.

Over the last decade, our students have produced innovative research and projects. An SJTP graduate fellow from Biomolecular Science and Engineering worked with marine biologists and illustrators to self-publish the children’s book Looking For Marla (Buscando a Marla), a tale of diverse expressions of gender and sexual identity among marine creatures. Physics graduate students and artists came together to develop a novel solar greenhouse that highlighted problems of energy use and access to new material sciences in agriculture. They went on to secure tenure-track positions in which they found a route to incorporating justice into both their teaching and research. In these and many other instances, the SJTP is part of the next generation of researchers who seek to place justice at the heart of the best science and technology.

Share our Campaign for Justice!

Post on social media and ask your friends to join us on April 22 by making a gift on Giving Day to support the Science and Justice Training Program!

Thank you for making a more just world possible!

Call for Participation

Spring 2020 Graduate Student Researcher Opportunity

The Science & Justice Research Center (SJRC) will employ a Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) with a 50% appointment for the Spring 2020 term; (22 hrs/week) appointment at Step 7. This appointment is funded by a grant through CITRIS and the Banatao Institute.

General Scope

In consultation with the Center Manager, and Director(s), the GSR will generate comparative data on the efficacy of graduate-level training in interdisciplinary feminist research for STEM scholars. In concert with colleagues in both the UC Santa Cruz-based Science & Justice Training Program (SJTP) and at the UC Davis Feminist Research Institute, the GSR will collect and analyze data for a comparative cross-campus review of the two graduate programs whose curriculum makes questions of gender and social justice fundamental to STEM training. They will focus on the following major research questions:

  1. student recognition of societal context for research (including potential bias and societal needs)
  2. a culture of inclusion for those underrepresented in STEM fields
  3. interdisciplinary collaborations, and 
  4. the ability to accurately and appropriately use categories in research (e.g. gender, race). A comparative analysis of the two programs will help demonstrate the efficacy of course-based graduate training in interdisciplinary research and support future expansion of these programs across the UC and beyond.

Responsibilities may include: applying for IRB; foster collaboration and teamwork among the two programs; organizing and co-facilitating the review including reviewing Center and Institute Training Programs pedagogy (refer to:, conducting interviews with instructors / staff / past SJTP fellows and students currently enrolled in 268A during Winter 2020 and in Individual Studies during Spring 2020; assist with organizing two site visits (TBD one at UCSC, one at UCD); lead ethnographic and observational data collection, transcription and analysis of comparative data between the seminars after their completion; create infographics, outreach materials, reports based on findings; develop and contribute to Center communication channels (ie: blog posts, news articles) for sharing research findings on campus and to the broader public.

The GSR position will be filled by a graduate student who:

  • has not advanced to candidacy
  • has successfully completed the Science & Justice Training Program
  • is able to attend 268A on select Wednesday’s 9am-12noon; Rachel Carson College 301
  • is interested in applying questions of gender and social justice to STEM curriculum
  • can translate relevant trending news items into blog pieces to be posted as news items on the S&J website and shared on social media
  • can assist with writing SJRC curriculum and training practices to be listed on the webpages: and  

By March 18: Applicants should submit their CV and a 1-2 page application (to that presents:

  1. their ideas about cross-divisional and interdisciplinary STEM curriculum and training
  2. how their work/research/career goals would benefit from the position;
  3. what experiences they have that would make them good for this position.

March 09, 2020 | Personalizing medicine through genomics in Denmark

Monday, March 9, 2020

12-1:30 PM

UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute

Westside Research Park: 2300 Delaware Ave., Santa Cruz

Double Helix Conference Room

In this talk, Iben M. Gjødsbøl (Assistant Professor Centre for Medical Science and Technology Studies, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen) draws upon ethnographic research carried out in Denmark to give an account of how genomic science and technology is being introduced in the health care system to better personalize medicine to the individual patient. To push forward biomedical research and clinical care, in 2018 the Danish government decided to establish a National Genome Centre for collecting and storing copies of patients’ genomic sequences and genetic analyses. At a moment in which knowledge and thus value is accrued from Big Data, Denmark flags itself as being among the most data-intense and digitalized societies in the world, possessing unique data sources for the population sciences. Policy makers, researchers, and health professionals are all unified in their perception that the National Genome Center is a natural continuance of the Danish state institutions’ tradition of collecting information about its citizens. Yet although most actors engaged in precision medicine agree on this general narrative, setting up new infrastructures for genomic data and making it useful in the clinic is not straightforward. To make precision medicine through genomics involves quandaries about access to health care; balancing public-private governance in a welfare state; the relationship of science to the clinic; and division of labor and responsibilities between professions. It also raises doubts about what data is useful and worthy of storing and thus fundamental questions about what constitutes valuable knowledge. As solutions to these questions are negotiated and settled, they simultaneously reconfigure responsibilities for both institutions, professionals, and citizens in the Danish health care system.

Iben M. Gjødsbøl’s primary fields of research are medical anthropology, medical science and technology studies. My research explores how medical technologies and clinical practices shape our understandings and experiences of health and illness. I do ethnography in health care settings, exploring how personhood and the value of life are constituted in the everyday clinical practices in the Danish welfare system. My PhD research concerned how life’s worth is practiced and experienced in the field of dementia, including both clinical and care settings. Currently, I am Assistant Professor at the Section for Health Services Research, Department of Public Health. My current research explores how personalized medicine is realized within cardiology in the Danish health care system. This research project forms part of the larger project ‘Personalized Medicine in the Welfare State’, MeInWe, headed by Professor Mette N. Svendsen. Learn more here.

Seating is limited. RSVP at

To accommodate a disability, please contact Ben Coffey at the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute (, 831-459-1477).

Sponsored by the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute

February 18, 2020 | Theorizing Race After Race [POSTPONED]

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 [POSTPONED]

5:00-6:30 PM

SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

Join Science & Justice scholars for an open discussion of Theorizing Race After Race!

At this session, we’ll discuss our funding proposal (which we will circulate in advance), as well as a recap of the January 22 discussion with Herman Gray and Alondra Nelson.

More information on the cluster can be found at:

February 5, 2020 | Lukas Rieppel on Locating the Central Asiatic Expedition

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

12noon-1:30pm Humanities 210

4:00-5:30pm SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

Join the SJRC and the Center for Cultural Studies for a noon talk and an evening book discussion with Lukas Rieppel.

During the 1920s, a large team of researchers from the New York natural history museum spent nearly a decade exploring the Gobi Desert in Central Asia under the leadership of Roy Chapman Andrews. Their widely publicized goal was to uncover fossil evidence in support of a racially motivated theory promulgated by the Museum’s president, Henry Fairfield Osborn, which located the evolutionary origins of modern humanity in Asia rather than Africa. While Andrews failed to find evidence that Central Asia served as the “cradle of mankind,” his expedition achieved both popular and scientific acclaim for the discovery of fossilized dinosaur eggs. However, when the Guomindang general Chiang Kai-sheck’s military troops arrived in Beijing during the summer of 1928, the expedition was expelled from their base of operations in northern China. Much of the controversy stemmed from a disagreement about specimens. Whereas Chinese intellectuals associated with the nationalist government accused American paleontologists of plundering ancient treasures from Central Asia, Andrews argued that because dinosaurs predated the creation of China, they belonged equally to all mankind. In this talk, Rieppel hopes to use the ensuing debate about whether science ought to be understood as a cosmopolitan endeavor or a technique of imperial expropriation to motivate a critical discussion about the language of “knowledge in transit,” “circulation,” and “circuits of exchange” in recent attempts to produce a less parochial account of knowledge production in a global context.

Lukas Rieppel works at the intersection of the history of science and the history of capitalism, focusing especially on the life, earth, and environmental sciences in nineteenth and early twentieth century North America. Rieppel recently published book Assembling the Dinosaur: Fossil Hunters, Tycoons, and the Making of a Spectacle (Harvard University Press, 2019), a lively account tracing how dinosaurs became a symbol of American power and prosperity and gripped the popular imagination during the Gilded Age, when their fossil remains were collected and displayed in museums financed by North America’s wealthiest business tycoons. Rieppel co-edited a recent issue of the journal Osiris (with Eugenia Lean & William Deringer) on the theme of “Science & Capitalism: Entangled Histories,” and he has written several essays about fossils, museums, and markets. Rieppel is a David and Michelle Ebersman Assistant Professor of History at Brown University. More information at:

January 29, 2020 | Works-in-Progress with Anjuli Verma

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

4:00-5:30 PM

SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

Join SJRC scholars in the SJRC Common Room for an open discussion of works-in-progress! This is a wonderful chance to engage with one another’s ideas, and support our own internal work. At this session, we will hear from UC Santa Cruz Assistant Professor of Politics, Anjuli Verma.

Anjuli’s work-in-progress, The “Percent Black” Trope: Framing Race, Crime, and Justice, seeks to unpack the double-bind of doing statistical analyses that include race variables in research on crime and punishment. In this work, Anjuli revisits and rearticulates quantitative findings in light of the conceptual critique she attempts to develop, which names a pervasive maneuver in late-modern American social science: the “percent black” trope. The “percent black” trope refers to the mode of methodological and theoretical reasoning by which race-related associations are empirically demonstrated but in the absence of causal theory about the mechanisms that would explain associations. At best, underlying processes that might offer explanatory power remain obscured; at worst, the tight coupling of race and the “abnormal” outcome du jour is reified. Either way, as Anjuli’s paper argues, the trope allows racial measurements of “percent black” to stand in for racial mechanisms that need to be identified, and reckoned with, in social inequality research and the political fields of social scientific evidence produced to inform policy and law.

Anjuli Verma is an Assistant Professor of Politics, at UC Santa Cruz, whose research broadly engages questions of punishment and inequality, regime change, and the interplay of legal reform and politics in the governance of crime and punishment.