June 24, 2020 | V is for Veracity

On June 24, 2020, SJRC Founding Director Jenny Reardon joined Wendy Hui Kyong Chun (Simon Fraser University’s Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media in the School of Communication) for a conversation on Science & Justice, and to explore our intersecting work on democracy, justice, information, and truth.

As Reardon’s recently written in relation in “V is for Veracity” about Covid-19: An “us” versus “them” mindset engendered by the metaphor of war focuses our attention on viruses, vaccines, and victory. It leads us to believe that there is a discrete enemy out there—a virus—that we must defeat. Yet, as we focus on this so-called frontline, we risk missing the deeper, more systemic problems. All our efforts, staying home and holding the frontline, may only lead us into the next battle, if we do not attend now to the unraveling of relations that sustain trustworthy truths—the veracity required to live collectively.

Refer also to the SSRC article, “V is for veracity.

The conversation was recorded and will be linked here once available.

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. Her training spans molecular biology, the history of biology, science studies, feminist and critical race studies, and the sociology of science, technology and medicine. She is the author of Race to the Finish: Identity and Governance in an Age of Genomics (Princeton University Press, 2005) and The Postgenomic Condition: Ethics, Justice, Knowledge After the Genome (Chicago University Press, Fall 2017). She has been the recipient of fellowships and awards from, among others, the National Science Foundation, the Max Planck Institute, the Humboldt Foundation, the London School of Economics, the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, and the United States Congressional Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

June 05, 2020 | UCHRI The Fire This Time: Race at Boiling Point

On Friday, June 05, 2020 David Theo Goldberg and UCHRI gathered scholars to think differently together about the structural conditions and explosive events shattering our times. In a wide-ranging conversation emerging out of the national and international protests in response to yet another spate of anti-Black police violence, these leading critical thinkers engaged questions about intersectional and international struggle, the militarization of the border, racial capitalism, the feminist dimension of new social justice movements, the unsustainability of the nation-state, the power of the arts as a rallying force for imagining and sustaining solidarities, and much more.

This event was recorded and streamed where over 9,000 people logged in.


Herman Gray (Professor Emeritus, Sociology; SJRC Advisor, UC Santa Cruz)


Angela Y. Davis (Distinguished Professor Emerita, History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz)

Gaye Theresa Johnson (Associate Professor, African American Studies, UC Los Angeles)

Robin D. G. Kelley (Professor, African American Studies, UC Los Angeles)

Josh Kun (Professor and Chair, Cross-Cultural Communication; Director, School of Communication, University of Southern California)

April 24, 2020 | Theorizing Race After Race

Friday, April 24, 2020

2:30-3:30 PM

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

At this session, we’ll read and think with Alondra Nelson’s, “Society after Pandemic”: https://items.ssrc.org/insights/society-after-pandemic/ (Links to an external site.), and Ruha Benjamin’s, “Black Skin, White Masks: Racism, Vulnerability & Refuting Black Pathology”: https://aas.princeton.edu/news/black-skin-white-masks-racism-vulnerability-refuting-black-pathology. We’ll also discuss a collective writing project.

Contact Camilla Hawthorne (camilla@ucsc.edu) for the Zoom link.

More information on the cluster can be found at: https://scijust.ucsc.edu/2019/05/17/theorizing-race-after-race/.

April 24, 2020 | STS Approaches to COVID-19: A Roundtable Discussion

Friday, April 24, 2020

11:00am–12:30pm PST

A livestream conversation of STS approaches to the COVID-19 pandemic, moderated by Saul Halfon, Virginia Tech Department of Science, Technology, and Society.

This roundtable brings together scholars from a range of STS specializations (cultural studies, sociology, history, politics, policy, and anthropology) to help us think through the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics will range freely across cultures of expertise, institutional trust & distrust, big data and modeling, drug development and regulatory practice, health security politics, health disparities, pandemic preparedness, health and supply infrastructures, and more. This will be an informal exchange of scholars, and we invite you to join us.

This event was recorded and streamed live on the VT STS Facebook page.


Jenny Reardon (UCSC, Sociology and the Science & Justice Research Center)

Sabina Leonelli (University of Exeter, Philosophy and History of Science)

Rebecca Hester (Virginia Tech, STS)

Arthur Daemmrich (Smithsonian Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation)

asynchronous video appearance by Carlo Caduff (Kings College London, Global Health & Social Medicine)

Saul Halfon (Virginia Tech, STS) served as Moderator

April 20, 2020 | Book Launch! Vital Decomposition Soil Practitioners and Life Politics

Vital Decomposition (Duke University Press, 2020)

Monday, April 20, 2020

1:30 pm PST / 4:30pm EST

online: https://sasupenn.zoom.us/j/767737043


Celebrate the launch of Kristina Lyons’ new book, Vital Decomposition Soil Practitioners and Life Politics (Duke University Press, April 2020).

Kristina M. Lyons is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania.

April 08, 2020 | Theorizing Race After Race

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

2:00-4:00 PM

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

At this session, we will brainstorm how the COVID-19 pandemic might shift the work we are doing as a collective. We will also discuss our funding proposal, and continue our conversation from last quarter about next steps from the January 22 discussion with Herman Gray and Alondra Nelson.

More information on the cluster can be found at: https://scijust.ucsc.edu/2019/05/17/theorizing-race-after-race/.

Contact Camilla Hawthorne (camilla@ucsc.edu) or Colleen Stone (colleen@ucsc.edu) for the Zoom link.

Spring Science & Justice Writing Together

Tuesdays 10:00AM –  12:00Noon

Wanting to establish a regular writing routine exploring science and justice? Join SJRC scholars over Zoom for open writing sessions! Open to all students, faculty, researchers and visiting scholars.

For more information, the Zoom link and password, or to express interest, please contact SJRC Graduate Student Researcher Dennis Browe (sociology).

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 bit.ly/PersMedDenmark.

To accommodate a disability, please contact Ben Coffey at the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute (becoffey@ucsc.edu, 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: https://scijust.ucsc.edu/2019/05/17/theorizing-race-after-race/.

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: https://sites.google.com/view/lukasrieppel/