May 2 | What’s Left of Progressive Politics?

The Center for Emerging Worlds presents a Roundtable Discussion with Dr. Vijay Prashad, Dr. Lisa Rofel, Dr. Mayanthi Fernando, and Asad Haider

Dr. Vijay Prashad is Professor of International Studies and South Asian History at Trinity College, Connecticut and a renowned journalist. He was trained as a historical anthropologist and received his Ph.D from the University of Chicago. Prashad’s work addresses issues like race and imperialism, race and immigrant communities in the US, geopolitical changes in the global South after 9/11, the propagation of policies that produce and exacerbate income inequalities, the possibilities of political solidarities among social movements committed to progressive change in the world, and the role of national governments and regional alliances in the context of economic and political changes in the world.

For more information, contact

May 2nd | 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm | Humanities 2, Room 259

April 26 | Seeing Like a Valley

Seeing like a Valley seeks to bring together scholars, policy makers, artists and practitioners to understand the place of the Valley in shaping not just new technologies, but moral visions.  It will explore how these visions help and hinder abilities to see and respond to today’s pressing issues and problems: growing inequalities and entrenched forms of discrimination; political polarization; declining trust in institutions; changing labor practices.
At this first meeting, we will evaluate the project proposal and ask people to respond to the prompt:

I am in [this position].  From here I see …. in SV.

This is very much a project in formation, and we look forward to your input.  We feel it is a critical time to think with the Valley about how to disrupt in a manner that addresses the serious social issues of the day.  This requires a collective effort of people who can see differently and critically.

April 26, 2017 | 4:00-6:00 PM | Engineering 2, room 599

"Seeing Like a Valley"
SJWG Rapporteur Report
26 April 2017
Rapporteur report by Shun-Nan Chiang
The event was held in Room 599 of Engineering 2. Around 4 pm, there were around 20 people in the room. Some participants came to the event together or knew each other before the event. There were already some chats before the event began.

Jenny opened the event. She introduced what the Science and Justice Center does and cares about as well as the uniqueness of the center. Then she moved to the introduction of the event about “Silicon Valley.” She mentioned that It is an experimental event. She proposed several intriguing questions about “living with/next to Silicon Valley” and “who” is seen as  important or who belongs to the Valley.

After the introduction, as the tradition of S&J event, Jenny invited everyone to go around and introduce themselves. Several people were new to the S&J event or even from outside the campus. Some came particularly for the event. The issue of the Valley and the title of “See in the Valley” may successfully attract some new participants. During the introduction, several people followed Jenny’s opening introduction and expressed what they have thought of or their relevant experience about Silicon Valley.

Then Jenny introduced Joe and briefly mentioned how they began this project. And then Joe gave a full background of the project. He mentioned that the idea of this project is inspired by James Scott’s “Seeing Like a State.” From my impression at that time, many people in that room did not know who James Scott is so may not be able to relate to the idea immediately. Joe then explained the original idea of Scott’s book and pointed out the analogy/connection -- from tunnel vision of the state to the valley vision of companies. Then Joes continued to ask what moral visions of Silicon Valley are and tried to unpack the idea of “morality.” Then Joe introduced his vision about how technology is organized by material culture and talked about the idea of “solutionism.” He mentioned the example of Juicero, a new agrifood tech. Many people in the room knew the case and laughed. Finally, Joe briefly discussed the idea of “Seeing the Valley” and the plan for future projects, including a series of panel discussions about moral visions. During Joe’s introduction, the room was actually quite quiet. My own impression at that time is that I was trying to follow the ideas Joe was articulating and developing.

After Joe’s introduction of the idea of “seeing like a valley,” cultural historian Fred Turner is the first panelist who gave his vision of the Valley. He said “I see the legacy of American puritanism.” Then he emphasizes the idea of “Actual Valley” and introduced projects he has worked on to make visible the invisible part of the Valley. He thought there will be many connections between this S&J project and his work.

The second panelist is Katherine Isbister. She is a professor in Computational Media and introduced herself as a post-hippie. She shared her experience that the Valley has changed from a more idealistic and communal vision to the Valley today that she felt increasingly alienated from. She also mentioned the utopian vision of the Valley and the question how to better train future engineers. When I was listening to her sharing, I was surprised of phrases she used and concepts she articulated because she didn’t seem to be a typical computer scientist to me but more like a social science or humanities scholar.

The third panelist is Morgan Ames. She introduced her project about “One laptop left behind” and also made some allusion to "no laptop left behind.” Then she introduced her current project in marginalized communities in the Valley. As she positioned her research, she focused the communities that are "made marginal" and "proximate peripheries."

After Morgan’s sharing, there were some discussions about potential themes for this project, especially children. Jenny proposed to begin to put ideas on the big whiteboard in the back of the conference room. Melissa De Witte from Social Science Division volunteered to write ideas on the board.

After that, because the fourth panelist went out to pick up a phone call, and it was also around 5 o’clock, Jenny made the decision to have a break. Everyone then went out to have some refreshments. And there were also lots of discussions during the break, just like other S&J events.

It was around 5:20 when everyone returned to the conference room and began the second half of the event. More 5 participants had left during the break. Then the four panelist Michael Mateas shared his vision of the Silicon Valley. He thought there was a genuine utopianism that hoped to change the world for good in the past. As the chair of the Computational Media Department, he also mentioned since they will definitely be present in the Silicon Valley, he was wondering how that could be a transformative platform and how to actually intervene from inside?

Then the discussion opened up to all participants. Almost all participants share their thoughts, experience, or visions. Eventually the entire whiteboard was written with different ideas. Melissa did a good job organizing and sorting out thoughts when writing them on the board.

As the photos of the whiteboard show, participants have proposed many ideas from different angles. “Children” is a topic being brought up several times. Participants seem to think that the issue of children has a clear connection with the idea of morality.

Another important question that was touched several times is who the audience this project hope to speak to. Jenny mentioned many of those tech company owners do have good intentions and hope to contribute in some way. Thus, she asked do we want to reach out to them? From their experience, other participants also mentioned that these company owners will be interested in knowing new perspectives and ideas. Fred mentioned the Salon project he worked on. Other participants also proposed similar events that could bring different visions and different groups of people into discussion. Some participants then mention to bring in other marginalized or invisible groups of people also living in the Valley.

Spatial aspect is another focus. This indicates not only spatial relations within the Valley but also relationships of the Valley to other parts of the world. As some participants ask: “Where is Valley?” Some participants also mentioned the public transportation and google bus in the Valley.

Towards the end of the event, Chris Benner from ENVS/Sociology raised some interesting questions from a different angle. He mentioned that his first book is about the laborers in the Silicon Valley. Then he shared some statistics to show who lives in Silicon Valley. 34% of residents in the Valley are foreign born, many of them are latinos. He suggested that we should also try to invite some of the groups which work on the Valley to join the discussion. Joe and Jenny mentioned that some activists or activism groups working in the Valley were invited to attend the event but didn’t manage to make it.

At this point, I realized that except for few international scholars and students, it seems other U.S. participants are all white.

Margo from Harvard proposed that “Seeing like” and “Valley” are already good topics for future events.  

Before the event ended, Jenny and Joe raised the question about how this project could move forwards and what may be a format to communicate with each other. Then all the participants agreed to have a extra mark in the sign-up sheet if they are willing to follow up the project. The event ended around 10 minutes after 6 o’clock.

April 25 | Lunch with Uppsala

‘… what happened in Sweden last Friday’.
Mythologies and Methods in post-fact times

Tuesday April 25, 2017
12:00-1:00 PM
SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

Join Science & Justice in welcoming “Knowledge production beyond the norms” a transdisciplinary research node from Uppsala university, Sweden. Core of their scope of interest are the effects of political realities and epistemological assumptions that structure knowledge production, as well as the subversive potential of academic research – especially in relation to gender, sexuality, race and species, and in intersection with artistic investigations.

This seminar starts with short presentations by Uppsala University’s Ann-Sofie Lönngren (Associate Professor of Literature, Gender Studies) and MA-students Rebecka Göransdotter (Rhetorics), Cecilia Luzon (Literature) and Henrietta Olsson (Genocide Studies). As a background to the discussion, participants are advised to read this blog post by Irish media scholar Gavan Titley (Maynooth university):

“What happened in Sweden last Friday? You tell me.” This was the response many Swedes posted on their facebook-sites after US president Donald Trump’s address on February 18th, when he referred to an unspecified event in Sweden to strengthen one of his arguments about immigration. This was just one example of the kind of rhetoric that, at least since Brexit and the last US election, has come to be seen as characteristic for an era of “post-truth” and “alternative facts”. Although it can certainly be argued that facts have never been “pure” and that ideology is always an active part in the interpretation of the world, the material effects of the current political development on the academic production of knowledge need to be addressed. How do certain nations, times, species, landscapes, groups and individuals come to function as mythological tropes for political purposes, and with what effects? How can the academic challenges be defined, which matters are urgent to address in current and future productions of knowledge? What methods, theories and material are relevant to engage in order to construct potentially subversive, ‘just’ knowledge in post-fact times?

Lunch will be provided to those who RSVP to Cleo Woelfle-Erskine ( by Wednesday, April 19th with any diet restrictions. Seating is limited to 20.

April 19 | Food For Thought’s Unequal Healthscapes in California’s “Biohub”

Wednesday, April 19th
5:30-7:30 pm
Namaste Lounge

Hosted by the College Nine and Ten CoCurricular Programs Office, SJRC Assistant Director, Kate Weatherford Darling will present her research centering social justice and health inequalities in the discussion of biomedicine and US healthcare and policy. Asking the question: What would it take to build new California “healthscapes” (Clarke 2010) with visions of disability justice and health equity?

Unequal Healthscapes in California’s “Biohub”

California’s recent Tech Boom buoyed the Bay Area economy and transformed the political geography of the state and a global center of wealth. Venture capital / philanthropic investment along with public policies to promote “entrepreneurism” are rapidly changing the spaces, places of biomedical science and healthcare practice. In this talk, Kate offers an incomplete map of our unequal “healthscapes” (Clarke 2010), the cultural, economic and political terrains of health. Drawing on findings from her current and forthcoming research, she asks: What would it take to build new California healthscapes with visions of disability justice and health equity?

Katherine Weatherford Darling is Assistant Director at the Science and Justice Research Center and faculty in UCSC Sociology Department. Her research and teaching bridges Sociology of Health, Illness and Disability and Feminist Science Studies. Her current projects span diverse topics including: Post-Genomic epidemiology and HIV/AIDS science and health policy in the U.S. With UCSC and Bay Area collaborators, her new projects examine how the social and built environments of Bay Area’s tech and biotech economies are impacting the health of low-income Californians.

Flyer for Food for Thought

Flyer for Food for Thought

April 12 | Book Discussion with Victoria Pitts-Taylor

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
12:00-1:00 PM
SJRC Common Room Oakes 231

Join SJRC fellows and affiliates for lunch and a discussion with Victoria Pitts-Taylor, Professor of Sociology and Science in Society, and Chair of the Feminist, Gender, and Sexualities Program at Wesleyan University. Professor Pitts-Taylor will be discussing Chapter One of her most recent book The Brain’s Body: Neuroscience and Corporeal Politics. Lunch will be provided to those who RSVP to Kate Weatherford Darling ( by Wednesday, April 5th with any diet restrictions. Seating is limited to 20.

On April 13th at 3:30pm, Victoria will visit UCSF for a seminar and reception hosted by the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and sponsored by the School of Nursing Dean’s Office.

Details for the UCSF Talk:
Thursday, April 13th from 3:30pm-5pm
UCSF Laurel Heights Campus, Gay Becker Conference Room (inside IHA, 3rd Floor)
3333 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94118

April 4 | Telling the Truth: Objectivity and Justice

Illustration of the world meltingTuesday April 4, 2017
4:00-6:00 PM
SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

The terms “post-fact”, “post-truth”, and “post-reality” are now being used to label the new era we have entered. We are already seeing the erasure of climate data from servers and websites, and purveyors of the truth, including climate scientists, journalists, and academics are being put on warning. (The Climate Scientists witch-hunt and the Professor Watchlist are just two of many indicators). Data refuge efforts are underway amid concerns that the incoming administration will wage a war on scientific expertise.At the same time that it is of upmost importance that facts, truth, and reality be asserted to counter the normalization of lies and fake news used to obscure the truth and manipulate the public, there is a large body of scholarship showing the non-innocent and often times harmful use of these terms in ways that collude with the forces of power, including colonialism, racism, militarism, etc.

We have created this research cluster to help us think through these issues during these extraordinary times.

Convened by Karen Barad, our first three meetings on Objectivity & Justice proved to be a generative. During our first meeting we talked about what the terms ‘fact’, ‘truth’, and ‘reality’ signal to each of us. At our second meeting we had a wonderful discussion of the last chapter of Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism and we came up with some different approaches we might useful take in moving forward. For our third meeting we read and discussed Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. For our fourth meeting we have agreed to watch the film classic “Inherit the Wind,” and to continue our discussion of possible interventions.

Science & Justice invites you to our fourth meeting Tuesday April 4th 4-6pm. We will begin with a discussion of “Inherit the Wind” (available on Youtube). Even if you don’t have time to watch the film you are welcome to join us. And as always there will be snacks!

Call for Action: Community Relief Aid for Putumayo, Mocoa

From Kristina Lyons, SJRC Affiliate in Feminist Science Studies:

The capital city of PutumayoMocoa, where I have been engaged in research and accompanying agro-life popular processes since 2004, suffered a devastating avalanche in the early morning hours after three rivers, the MocoaMulato and Sancoyaco, flooded and overtook 17 neighborhoods. At least 236 people have been killed, more than 250 more are disappeared, and hundreds are wounded and left homeless. The hospital collapsed, the bus terminal, central gas station, and market were obliterated, and there is no electricity, potable water, or most public services. I am lucky that my closest friends, colleagues, compañerxs, and adoptive family members are safe thus far. However, there are many people still unaccounted for and countless others in shock and needing basic supplies, water, food, and support of all kinds.

If you have learned about Putumayo through my or other’s work, heard a talk, read a piece, or feel moved and motivated by this news and the situation occurring, please contact me. I am organizing donations for local community relief, mutual aid, and reconstruction projects in Mocoa. While there is so much troubling and devasting phenomena happening in the world, Mocoa is a place that holds my heart and continues to shape all that I am as an anthropologist and person.

More details can be found at the link below. This money will go to trustworthy local organizations that I personally know and have been working closely with. The objective of this fundraiser is to provide not only short term aid, but also middle to long-range capacity building support for community organizations, processes, and initiatives in the wake of such a tragedy.

Thank you in advance for any solidarity. Please circulate among friends and networks that may be concerned and interested in supporting such efforts.

April 20 | Data Under Threat: Rescuing Environmental Data in the Trump Era

Thursday, April 20, Noon-1pm
2nd Floor Instruction & Outreach Alcove
McHenry Library

In recognition of Endangered Data Week, Dr. Lindsey Dillon will discuss her recent experience as a coordinator of a network of academics and non-profits monitoring potential threats to federal environmental and energy policy data at the onset of the Trump administration.

Discussion will follow the presentation. Bring your lunch, questions, observations and experiences. Learn about data rescue efforts such as the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI), the End of Term Web Archive, #DataRescue, DataRefuge, DataLumos, and Open Access Week.

Dr. Dillon is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at UCSC where she is affiliated with the Environmental Studies Department and the Science & Justice Research Center. She is also chair of the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI), “an international network of academics and non-profits addressing potential threats to federal environmental and energy policy, and to the scientific research infrastructure built to investigate, inform, and enforce.”

Endangered Data Week (April 17-21, 2017) is a new, nationwide effort to raise awareness of threats to publicly available data.

April 25 | Online Film Screening: The State of Eugenics

Tuesday, April 25 at 3:30 PST
What is the legacy of government sponsored eugenics programs? Learn more and join the discussion following a special screening of THE STATE OF EUGENICS on Tuesday, April 25 at 3:30pm PT presented by Facing History and Ourselves and Reel South.

Between 1933 and 1974, the state of North Carolina ran one of the most aggressive eugenics programs, sterilizing more than 7,600 men, women and children. This film follows the journey of survivors, legislators and journalists who insist the state confront its role in the tragic, forced sterilization of thousands of Americans thought to have “undesirable” genetics.

Duration: 90 minutes

More details are at
Promotional Video:

Further Reading:

2017 Los Angeles Times Editorial: California needs to do more than apologize to people it sterilized

2016 PBS: Unwanted Sterilization and Eugenics Programs in the United States

2014 Center for Investigative Reporting: Female prison inmates sterilized illegally, California audit confirms

2014 Press Enterprise: Female inmates, some in Chino, unlawfully sterilized

2014 California State AUDIT: Sterilization of Female Inmates Some Inmates Were Sterilized Unlawfully, and Safeguards Designed to Limit Occurrences of the Procedure Failed

2013 Center for Investigative Reporting: Female inmates sterilized in California prisons without approval

2013 Center for Investigative Reporting Video: Sterilized Behind Bars



Jenny Reardon receives Humboldt Foundation award

(Originally posted on Sociology@UCSC)

Jenny Reardon, professor of sociology and director of the Science & Justice Research Center at UC Santa Cruz, is the winner of the 2017 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award.

The award recognizes scholars who have earned lifetime achievements in research. In addition, award recipients are invited to spend a year collaborating with specialist colleagues in Germany to carry out their proposed research projects.

The project Reardon and her collaborators will embark on will explore how the rise of big data’ is changing interpretive practices in the life sciences and life scientists’ understandings of and relationships to life.  While centered on the life sciences, and in particular on genomics, the research aims to produce insights about how the rise of informatics and big data are changing what it means and entails to produce knowledge across the natural and social sciences, and how those changes also entail shifts in what it means to act in an ethical and democratic manner.

The bi-national collaboration will allow for historical and comparative studies that promise novel insights into these fundamental processes. In the United States, the norm of openness powerfully shapes practices of interpreting genomes. In Germany, the privacy of genetic and genomic data still is considered paramount, although under mounting pressure. The study will investigate how different legal and scientific approaches to the management and governance of genomic data create different practices of interpretation that entail different conceptions of knowledge and justice.

Veronika Lipphardt, Reardon’s collaborator at the University of Freiburg, notes the timeliness of the research. “German politicians are currently discussing whether or not the German Law should allow for DNA Phenotyping and the determination of biogeographical ancestry in cri­mi­nal investigation”, she says. “Interpreting the results will be a major challenge for foren­sicists, investigators and judges.” Lipphardt belongs to a small group of scholars invited to a central expert hearing by the State Department of Justice.

Reardon plans to disseminate the research through published articles, public talks, and online media.

The Humboldt Foundation was founded by the German government and strives to promote exchange of knowledge between scientists and scholars all over the world.