Oct 11 | Meet & Greet

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 the new faces in the Center and foster emerging collaborations!


Wednesday, October 11, 2017 | 4:00-5:30 PM | SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

Fall | Science and Justice Writing Together

Wanting to establish a regular writing routine exploring science and justice? Join SJRC scholars Wednesday mornings from 9:00am-12:00pm in the SJRC Common Room beginning Oct 4th through Dec 5th for open writing sessions! Engage in six 25-minute writing sessions (with a 5 minute break in between).

Open to all SJRC graduate students, faculty and visiting scholars. We will schedule writing sessions on a quarterly basis based on interest and availability, please be in touch if you are interested in participating in the future but cannot participate on Wednesdays during Fall quarter.

For more information, please contact Lindsey Dillon (Assistant Professor of Sociology).


Wednesdays (fall term) | 9:00 AM -12:00 PM | SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

Oct 03 | Epigenetics, Trauma, and Restorative Justice

Post-genomic scientific research practices are shifting conceptualizations of the relationships between bodies & environments over human lifetimes and generations (Lappé & Landecker 2015; Darling et al. 2016). Epigenetics has recently generated a set of frameworks & methods for linking environmental & social exposures to molecular effects. Ruth Müller and Martha Kenney are investigating how the narratives about early life adversity coming out of environmental epigenetics circulate in the life sciences and in wider publics (Kenney & Müller, 2017).

In their recent article “Of Rats and Women: Narratives of Motherhood in Environmental Epigenetics,” they identify troubling trends in how the results of these experiments are narrated, specifically how trauma and early life adversity are often framed as causing potentially-irreversible life-long damage.

In this experimental mixer, they will join SJRC Assistant Director Kate Weatherford Darling and S&J visitor Kim Hendrickx in dialogue about their current research project that investigates how research from epigenetics and neurobiology is currently taken up by restorative justice and trauma-informed care practitioners. They ask: How do their models of trauma differ from those of life scientists? How are biological frameworks enrolled in the context of restorative justice events and trainings? How can narratives emerging from restorative justice and trauma-informed care contribute important perspectives to research in the life sciences?


Ruth Müller is an STS researcher with degrees in Molecular Biology (MSc) and Sociology (PhD). Her research explores the nexus of science, technology & policy with a focus on the sociology and epistemology of the life sciences. She is Assistant Professor of Science & Technology Policy at Technical University of Munich. https://www.mcts.tum.de/en/personen/professuren/ruth-mueller/

Martha Kenney (PhD History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz) is a feminist science studies scholar whose research explores the poetics and politics of biological storytelling. She is Assistant Professor in the Department of Women and Gender Studies at San Francisco State University. https://wgsdept.sfsu.edu/people/25283/martha-kenney


October 03, 2017 | 10:00-11:30 AM  | SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

May 18-19 | Environmentalism Outside the Box: An Ecosex Symposium

Flyer for Environmentalism Outside the Box: An Ecosex Symposium

Environmentalism Outside the Box: An Ecosex Symposium

A multi-disciplinary gathering to explore our relationships with the environment and social justice, engage in human/non-human collaboration, critique ideologies and debate new sexualities. Let’s examine where our “bodies” end and “nature” begins. What happens when we posit the Earth as our lover?

Schedule to include keynotes by Kim TallBear (Professor of Indigenous Studies, University of Alberta) on Decolonizing Settler Sexuality and Chris Cuomo (Professor from University of Georgia) on Race and Environmentalism, a post screening conversation with Donna Haraway following feature film Story Telling for Earthly Survival and panel discussions with Joe Dumit (Professor of Anthropology and Chair of Performance Studies, UC Davis), Beth Stephens (Professor of Art, UCSC), Lisa Rofel (Professor of Anthropology, UCSC) and Cleo Woelfle-Erskine (S&J UC President’s Postdoctoral fellow).

Symposium is free. Parking is $4.

See schedule at https://earthlab.ucsc.edu/ecosex-symposium/


May 18-19, 2017 | All Day | Digital Arts Research Center, DARC 108

May 10 | CRISPR Cas9 and Justice

Sponsored by the CRISPR User Group, SJRC Director Jenny Reardon (Professor of Sociology) will present a talk, to divert our gaze from the spectacular—we will cut out deadly genes; we will fundamentally alter the human species—to focus on the more mundane, but more profound changes of which CRISPR technologies are apart—changes that that call into question how we live and know today.

Rather than a threat to the future of humanity or life on earth, Reardon will argue that CRISPR helps make visible these more fundamental transformations in modes of knowing and governing.

Pizza will be provided.


May 10, 2017 |12Noon-1:00PM | Biomed 200

May 9 | Telling the Truth: Objectivity and Justice

Illustration of the world melting

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, the research cluster met throughout the winter and spring quarters and proved to be quite 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 discussed the film classic “Inherit the Wind,” and talked about the science march, and continued our discussion of possible interventions.

Science & Justice invites you to our fifth and final meeting of this academic school year on Tuesday May 9th 4:00-5:30pm. We will begin with a discussion of Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Talents. Even if you don’t have time to read the novel you are welcome to join us. And as always there will be snacks!

May 9, 2017 | 4:00-5:30 PM | SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

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 sjetha@ucsc.edu

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): http://wildcatdispatches.org/2017/02/21/gavan-titley-in-trumps-sweden-or-malmo-switzerland/

“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 (cwoelfle@ucsc.edu) 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