designed intersecting points with title

Tech Futures: 52 Conversation Starter Card Deck

The Science & Justice Research Center is co-sponsoring a project with the Center for Public Philosophy to create a deck of playing cards that will catalyze conversations about ethics and technology, and we want your ideas. Cards will not tell players what to think. They’re a playful way to stimulate dialogue on some of the critical issues we need to face. If there’s a question about tech and ethics (or social justice or individual rights) you think is urgent or particularly troubling, submit your ideas to https://techfutures52.ucsc.edu/ by November 15, 2020 to receive a pack of cards.

Inquiries may be directed to pubphil@ucsc.edu.

Grid with plant roots

Forthcoming Book release! Counterpoints: A San Francisco Bay Area Atlas of Displacement & Resistance (PM Press, 2021)

About the Book

Grid with plant roots

Book cover for Counterpoints: A San Francisco Bay Area Atlas of Displacement and Resistance (PM Press)

Counterpoints: A San Francisco Bay Area Atlas of Displacement and Resistance (PM Press, forthcoming) brings together cartography, essays, illustrations, poetry, and more in order to depict gentrification and resistance struggles from across the San Francisco Bay Area and act as a roadmap to counter-hegemonic knowledge making and activism. Compiled by the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, each chapter reflects different frameworks for understanding the Bay Area’s ongoing urban upheaval, including: evictions and root shock, indigenous geographies, health and environmental racism, state violence, transportation and infrastructure, migration and relocation, and speculative futures.

By weaving these themes together, Counterpoints expands normative urban-studies framings of gentrification to consider more complex, regional, historically grounded, and entangled horizons for understanding the present. Understanding the tech boom and its effects means looking beyond San Francisco’s borders to consider the region as a socially, economically, and politically interconnected whole and reckoning with the area’s deep history of displacement, going back to its first moments of settler colonialism.

Counterpoints combines work from within the project with contributions from community partners, from longtime community members who have been fighting multiple waves of racial dispossession to elementary school youth envisioning decolonial futures. In this way, Counterpoints is a collaborative, co-created atlas aimed at expanding knowledge on displacement and resistance in the Bay Area with, rather than for or about, those most impacted.

Counterpoints includes a chapter from the SJRC Just Biomedicine research cluster on “Just Biomedicine on Third Street? Health and Wealth Inequities in SF’s Biotech Hub.”

The book is available for preorder at PM Press.

About the editorial collective behind Counterpoints:

The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project (AEMP) is a data visualization, critical cartography, and multimedia storytelling collective that documents displacement and resistance struggles on gentrifying landscapes. With chapters in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and Los Angeles, the collective works with numerous community partners and housing justice networks in order to provide data, maps, stories, and tools for resisting displacement. AEMP has produced hundreds of maps, oral histories, and multimedia pieces, as well as dozens of community events and reports, and numerous academic and public facing articles, book chapters, and murals. AEMP’s work has been presented in a variety of venues, from art galleries and collectives to neighborhood block parties, from academic colloquia and conferences to community workshops and book fairs.

Covid-19 Pandemicene Podcast

The Pandemicene Podcast aims to produce knowledge that can help all of us – scholars and scientists, students and activists – imagine and enact just futures both in our home state of California and in our communities worldwide.

The SJRC Pandemicene Podcast

Podcast Episodes

Each new episode airs Sunday evenings, 6:30 – 7 pm, on KZSC Santa Cruz.

Episode 1: Isa Ansari with Kim TallBear and Jessica Kolopenuk on Indigenous led Techno-Scientific Innovation

Episode 2: Kathia Damian with Joan Donovan on State-sponsored Misinformation

Pandemicene Project Information

Graduate and undergraduate student interns in the Pandemicene Project and Theorizing Race After Race groups have co-created this podcast series based on interviews with SJRC’s robust network of local and international public health experts, scholars, and practitioners. Our goal has been to capture everyone’s unique quarantine experiences, interests in understanding local responses to the pandemic, and the world-building projects they have been undertaking!

Our special thanks go to S&J undergraduate researcher Kathia Damian (Literature, Talk and News Director KZSC Santa Cruz 88.1 FM)

Find more information on the COVID-19 Pandemicene’s project page.

Abstract greens

Forthcoming Book release! Hillary Angelo on How Green Became Good: Urbanized Nature and the Making of Cities and Citizens (University of Chicago Press, 2021)

About the Book

Abstract greens

Book Cover for Hillary Angelo’s How Green Became Good: Urbanized Nature and the Making of Cities and Citizens (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming 2021)

As projects like Manhattan’s High Line, Chicago’s 606, China’s eco-cities, and Ethiopia’s tree-planting efforts show, cities around the world are devoting serious resources to urban greening. Formerly neglected urban spaces and new high-end developments draw huge crowds thanks to the considerable efforts of city governments. But why are greening projects so widely taken up, and what good do they do? In How Green Became Good, Hillary Angelo uncovers the origins and meanings of the enduring appeal of urban green space, showing that city planners have long thought that creating green spaces would lead to social improvement. Turning to Germany’s Ruhr Valley (a region that, despite its ample open space, was “greened” with the addition of official parks and gardens), Angelo shows that greening is as much a social process as a physical one. She examines three moments in the Ruhr Valley’s urban history that inspired the creation of new green spaces: industrialization in the late nineteenth century, postwar democratic ideals of the 1960s, and industrial decline and economic renewal in the early 1990s. Across these distinct historical moments, Angelo shows that the impulse to bring nature into urban life has persistently arisen as a response to a host of social changes, and reveals an enduring conviction that green space will transform us into ideal inhabitants of ideal cities. Ultimately, however, she finds that the creation of urban green space is more about how we imagine social life than about the good it imparts. 

Hillary Angelo is Assistant Professor of Sociology and affiliated with the SJRC at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The book will be available in February 2021 at: The University of Chicago Press

Call for Participation

Prospective Student Opportunity | history of science, medicine, environment in the Global South

The Department of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz is recruiting the first in a series of PhD students to begin in the fall of 2021 to pursue research on the history of science, the history of medicine, and/or environmental history in the Global South. Applicants may specialize in the study of the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, South Asia, East Asia, or indigenous communities across the globe.

The online application is available beginning October 1st (unless otherwise noted), and closes at 8:59 pm PST on December 10th.

UCSC is known for its reputation as a center for the study of science (e.g. feminist science studies, multispecies studies, the study of race and genomics). The successful applicant will become part of an interdisciplinary community of scholars whose work is focused on questions of science, medicine, and the environment.

In pursuing a research agenda situated in the Global South, they will have the opportunity to join researchers across the university and to participate in various transdisciplinary forums that include the Science & Justice Research Center, the Center for Cultural Studies, the program in Global Community Health, the Center for Southeast Asian Coastal Interactions, and events sponsored by the Departments of Politics, Sociology, History of Consciousness, Feminist Studies, Anthropology, and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies.

In addition to university support, the successful applicant will receive funding for language training and research from a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation on the theme of “The History of Science at the Interface of Biomedical and Environmental Concerns,” whose Principal Investigator is Jennifer L. Derr (History).

Further information about the history department’s graduate program can be found on their web page (https://history.ucsc.edu/graduate/phd-program/index.html). Please contact Jennifer L. Derr (jderr@ucsc.edu) or the Graduate Program Coordinator for the Department of History, Cindy Morris (morrisc@ucsc.edu), with questions regarding applying or the graduate program.

Multiple lines of counterpoints

World Records Journal Vol. 4 | In The Presence of Others

multiple lines of counterpoints

Figure 5. Graphic included in the Data Ethics Decision Aid, a handbook for assessing ethical issues with regard to data projects, developed by the Utrecht Data School in conjunction with The Ethics of Coding project.

Using Hannah Arendt’s writings to rethink the role of documentary in visualizing and producing common worlds, The World Records Journal has launched Vol. 4 In The Presence of Others.

This issue of World Records puts Arendt’s work into counterpoint with documentary media and cultures.

Included is Conditions: Warren Sack in conversation with Jenny Reardon and Bonnie Honig, a trialogue to discuss questions like:

  • What are the prevailing trends in science, biotech, and software engineering?
  • What kinds of trajectories are implied by computational theory and machine learning? What are the risks of these developing fields as they come into contact with modes of privatized, bureaucratic rationality, or with statism and surveillance?
  • How does Arendt’s work help us think more deeply about these questions?

Warren Sack is a media theorist, software designer, and artist whose work has been exhibited at SFMoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, and the ZKM Center for Art and Media. Warren is an affiliate of the Science & Justice Research Center and Professor of Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and author of The Software Arts (MIT Press, 2019).

Jenny Reardon is a Professor of Sociology and the Founding Director of the Science and Justice Research Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Her research draws into focus questions about identity, justice and democracy that are often silently embedded in scientific ideas and practices, particularly in modern genomic research. She is the author of The Postgenomic Condition: Ethics, Justice, Knowledge After the Genome (Chicago University Press, Fall 2017).

Bonnie Honig is Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Modern Culture and Media (MCM) and Political Science at Brown University, and (by courtesy) Religious Studies (RS) and Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS). She is author of Political Theory and the Displacement of Politics (Cornell, 1993, Scripps Prize for best first book), Democracy and the Foreigner (Princeton, 2001), Emergency Politics: Paradox, Law, Democracy (Princeton, 2009, David Easton Prize), Antigone, Interrupted. (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and Public Things: Democracy in Disrepair (Fordham, 2017).

a gold field

Book Release! Madeleine Fairbairn on Fields of Gold, Financing the Global Land Rush, (Cornell University Press, 2020)

About the Book

a gold field

Book Cover for Fairbairn’s Fields of Gold, Financing the Global Land Rush (Cornell University Press, 2020)

Fields of Gold critically examines the history, ideas, and political struggles surrounding the financialization of farmland. In particular, Madeleine Fairbairn focuses on developments in two of the most popular investment locations, the US and Brazil, looking at the implications of financiers’ acquisition of land and control over resources for rural livelihoods and economic justice.

At the heart of Fields of Gold is a tension between efforts to transform farmland into a new financial asset class, and land’s physical and social properties, which frequently obstruct that transformation. But what makes the book unique among the growing body of work on the global land grab is Fairbairn’s interest in those acquiring land, rather than those affected by land acquisitions. Fairbairn’s work sheds ethnographic light on the actors and relationships—from Iowa to Manhattan to São Paulo—that have helped to turn land into an attractive financial asset class.

Madeleine Fairbairn is Assistant Professor in Environmental Studies and affiliated with the SJRC at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Find out more in this campus news article:

The global land rush: How investors have turned farmland into a lucrative financial asset class

The book is available for purchase or free download (for non-commercial purposes) at Cornell University Press.

screenshot of game character holding a digital device showing another game character.

Game launch! Sin Sol / No Sun by micha cárdenas

About the Game

screenshot of game character holding a digital device showing another game character.

(c)Kristine Eudey, 2019, micha cárdenas, “Sin Sol, Prototype” as part of “Arch”, Leslie-Lohman Museum.

Created by the UCSC Critical Realities Studio Sin Sol / No Sun is an augmented reality game that allows users to experience the feelings of a climate change event, in order to deeply consider how climate change disproportionately effects immigrants, trans people and disabled people. Players can find, see and hear a story told through poetry about living through climate change induced wildfires, from an AI hologram, Aura.

Set fifty years in the future, Aura tells the story of environmental collapse from the past, which is our present in 2018. Part environmental archiving project, the environments in the game include actual 3-D scans of present day forests from the Pacific Northwest. With the goal of multispecies survival and solidarity in mind, Aura’s dog, Roja, leads players on a journey to escape the wildfires and find oxygen capsules which contain poetry, telling more of the story as they progress through the game.

Find out more in this campus news article:

New art game explores intersection of personal trauma and climate induced wildfires

Sin Sol is available on the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad.

Content Note: Sin Sol contains descriptions of sexual violence.

Watch the trailer on YouTube.

Game design, Writing and Direction by SJRC affiliate micha cárdenas (UCSC assistant professor of Art & Design: Games and Playable Media). micha directs the Critical Realities Studio and is writing a new algorithm for gender, race and technology. Her book Poetic Operations, forthcoming from Duke University Press, proposes algorithmic analysis to develop a trans of color poetics. cárdenas’s co-authored books The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities (2012) and Trans Desire / Affective Cyborgs (2010) were published by Atropos Press. Her artwork has been described as “a seminal milestone for artistic engagement in VR” by the Spike art journal in Berlin. She is a first generation Colombian American. Her articles have been published in Transgender Studies Quarterly, GLQ: Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, AI & Society, Scholar & Feminist Online, the Ada Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology, among others.

3-D modeling by Marcelo Viana Neto, Adrian Phillips and Kara Stone

Environments by Abraham Avnisan

Soundtrack by Wynne Greenwood and micha cárdenas

Character Design by Morgan Thomas

Produced by SJTP Fellow Dorothy Santos (Film and Digital Media)

Giving Day fundraiser for Science & Justice Training Program

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

All-Day

Join the Science & Justice Research Center at UC Santa Cruz on Wednesday September 30th, 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 scijust@ucsc.edu.

ABOUT the SJRC’s SJTP

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 September 30 by making a gift on Giving Day to support the Science and Justice Training Program!

Thank you for making a more just world possible!

COVID-19 Pandemicene Zine

Students in Director Jenny Reardon’s undergraduate independent study seminar, SOCY 194: Living and Learning in a Pandemic: The Sociology of COVID-19, have co-created a zine based on everyone’s unique quarantine experiences and interests in understanding local responses to the pandemic!

Full design credit and our special thanks go to Kathia Damian (Literature)!

 

COVID-19 Blogs

Here, four students in our internship which ran parallel to the course, share their series of blog posts, which each focus on a different issue and angle concerning COVID-19. Initial posts were posted on May 13, 2020, with further posts in the series to come.

Maryam Nazir – Bioethics and Equity-Based Frameworks Amidst a Pandemic; Reconciling the Irreconcilable Disparities in the Healthcare Industry

Kathia Damian – Privacy During a Pandemic: Digital Contact Tracing and Technosolutionism; Exposure Notifications, Digital Contact Tracing, and the Burden of Responsibility

Teresa (Tee) Wicks – The Global Medical Supply Chain, Neoliberalism, and COVID-19; Pharmaceuticals, a Vaccine for COVID-19, and Questions of Equitable Access; An Intersectional Narrative of Two Epidemics

Isa Ansari – COVID-19 Conversations with Dr. Kim TallBear and Dr. Jessica Kolopenuk; Re-Worlding in the time of COVID with Mesiah and Little Wind

 

Additional Pandemicene Project Information

Find more information on the COVID-19 Pandemicene’s project page.

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, and organizing and participating in online events.