The pedagogy of the Science & Justice Research Center fostering transdisciplinary collaborative learning that brings together faculty and students from across the UC Santa Cruz campus, from engineering, physical and biological sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the arts. The heart of this pedagogy is the Science & Justice Training Program (SJTP). Launched in 2010 with the support of a National Science Foundation grant, the program is designed to teach graduate students how to identify and respond to the entanglement of science and engineering with matters of ethics and justice. In addition to the SJTP and its core course, there are a number of other courses with a Science & Justice focus offered at UC Santa Cruz at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
SJRC also works with science and engineering departments and programs on campus to organize expanded scientific ethics and professional practice training for graduate students. This includes fostering direct collaborations with faculty PIs with funding to support incoming students in biomedical sciences and engineering. Adding a Science & Justice component in their graduate education helps to meet NSF and NIH ethics training requirements through an innovative and practice-based pedagogy that emphasizes discussion, co-learning, and responsiveness to the conditions and consequences of the practices and ideas of science and engineering.
In addition to these opportunities, SJRC gives student researchers–both undergraduate and graduate–the opportunity to develop research skills through conducting original research as part of Center projects. The Center also teaches and applies Critical Listening, a practice based in the Socratic Method, to encourage dialogue, critical thinking, and productive conflict. This practice is key to the Science & Justice Working Group (SJWG) discussions and rapporteur reports.