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

Feb 17/18 | Democratizing the Green City: Sustainability and the Affordable Housing Crisis



This two day conference examines a paradox: urban sustainability initiatives that are so vital in countering climate change can, through their improvements, contribute to driving up rents and driving out residents, and in the process, exacerbate sprawl, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change itself. Our speakers examine this growing link between environmental improvement and social displacement and ask: How is it possible to break this link? What would it mean to include affordable housing and equity within sustainability efforts? And what are the consequences—socially and ecologically—if we don’t?


February 17, 2017 5:00pm-7pm | Digital Arts Research Center 108
February 18, 2017 9:30am-6pm | Red Room, Rachel Carson College

We begin with a focus on the housing crisis that is transforming our own state and region. Renowned for greening and sustainability initiatives—from transit-oriented development to locavore food sheds to green building—California is also home to the most unaffordable housing markets in the country, including Santa Cruz. Thus greening interacts with gentrification and increased consumption, declining diversity and rising inequality, displacement and longer commutes, and multiple environmental health and ecosystem impacts, including habitat fragmentation, loss of groundwater, and increased carbon footprints. Our region, however, is not alone. We bring together a new generation of scholars, planners, and activists addressing ‘the housing question’ and green affordability crises across the Americas —in Mexico City and New York, Seattle and Medellin, Sao Paulo and Oakland— as well as emerging strategies for democratizing the green city.

For more information on the schedule, locations and registrations visit: https://democratizing-the-green-city.sites.ucsc.edu/

Organizers: Miriam Greenberg and Hillary Angelo, UCSC Sociology, Urban Democracy Lab/Democratizing the Green City NYC (NYU), Critical Sustainabilities Project (UCSC)

Sponsors: Urban Democracy Lab, The UCSC Sustainability Office, Rachel Carson College, UCSC Sociology Department, The Science and Justice Research Center

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.

Feb 1 | Cleo Woelfle-Erskine on Fish Culture

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

Science & Justice visiting scholar Cleo Woelfle-Erskine, a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Feminist Studies Department will present new work on fish culture – considered broadly as human interventions into fish reproduction – as practiced in indigenous and settler communities in California and the Pacific Northwest. Beginning from archival photographs and texts from the first US salmon hatchery on Winnemem Wintu territory near Mt. Shasta, he traces indigenous roots of western fisheries science and explores how different ethics of human-salmon relation persist in contemporary tribal and settler salmon science.

Fish hatcheries became a central part of western river engineering during the 20th century, based on fisheries scientists’ belief that they could improve on natural fish production by intervening in fishes’ reproductive lives and genetic makeup. Hatcheries were one manifestation of Manifest Destiny, the settler philosophies that asserted settler logics’ and technologies’ superiority over indigenous philosophies and sciences. Eventually, salmon ecologists questioned hatcheries’ efficacy as salmon populations crashed. Yet hatcheries continue to be a powerful site of encounter between scientists, fish technicians, fishers, and the public, where relations between fish, people, and rivers are made and remade. In conversations with key interlocutors in indigenous, queer, transgender, settler colonial, and critical animal studies, Cleo explored three inter-related questions:

  1. How has ecological science been brought inside indigenous ontologies, and transformed through tribal science and fisheries management in the Pacific Northwest?
  2. Where are indigenous theories of relation transforming (non-indigenous) ecological science?
  3. How might queer notions of kinship and more-than-human affective entanglements provide a different challenge to normative logics of control and productivity in contemporary settler salmon recovery projects?

Woelfle-Erskine is an ecologist, hydrologist, writer, and scholar of water, working with mentor Karen Barad to explore queer, transgender, and decolonial possibilities for ecological science. Cleo will join the faculty of the School of Marie and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington, Seattle as an Assistant Professor of Equity and Environmental Justice.


Illustration of the world meltingTuesday, January 24, 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 [1], and purveyors of the truth, including climate scientists, journalists, and academics are being put on warning. (The Climate Scientists witch-hunt [2] and the Professor Watchlist are just two of many indicators). Data refuge efforts are underway [3] amid concerns that the incoming administration will wage a war on scientific expertise [4].

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 are creating this cluster to help us think through these issues during these extraordinary times.

Convened by Karen Barad, our first meeting is Tuesday Jan 24 4-6pm. This first meeting will focus the question of what these terms (fact, truth, reality) signal to each of us in relationship to our own research. We anticipate that these terms will spark a variety of different associations depending on our fields of study. Please join us.

[1] “DNR purges climate change from web page,” by Lee Bergquist (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 28, 2016) http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2016/12/28/dnr-purges-climate-change-on-web-page/95929564/

[2] “Trump Transition Ask Energy Dept. Which Employees Work on Climate Change,” by Christopher Dean Hopkins (NPR, Dec 9, 2016)

[3] Q&A: Michelle Murphy, the U of T professor who’s racing to preserve climate-change data before Donald Trump takes office,” by Steve Kupferman (Toronto Life, Dec 16, 2016)

“Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump,” by Brady Dennis (Washington Post, Dec 13, 2016)

“Scientists prepare to fight for their work during ‘the Trumpocene’” by Sarah Kaplan (Washington Post, Dec. 15, 2016)

[4] “How Trump Could Wage a War on Scientific Expertise,” by Ed Yong (The Atlantic, Dec 2, 2016)


Jan 24 Objectivity Justice Notes

Jan 24 | Wiring Gaia at the Water-Energy Nexus: Indigenous Water Guardians and Decolonizing Water Science

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
11:40-1:15 PM
Rachel Carson College 301 (Sociology)

As emblematized by the ongoing protests at Standing Rock, water is a foundational element—biophysical, epistemological, and spiritual—in Indigenous societies and lifeways. Dr. Karen Bakker discusses how this crucial life source has come under increased threat due to the claimed necessity of extractivist development projects which impact the lives of all relations: human and more-than-human. Joining her in the conversation will be S&J Faculty Affiliates Ben Crow (Professor of Sociology) and Kristina Lyons (Assistant Professor of Feminist Science Studies).

On Monday, January 23 in Humanities 2, room 259 at 4:30PM, Karen and her UCSC colleagues will screen, KONELĪNE: Our Beautiful Land, directed by award-winning filmmaker Nettie Wild. The film just had its U.S. premier at the Palm Springs International Film Festival playing to a sold out house. KONELĪNE: our land beautiful is a sensual, cinematic celebration of northwestern British Columbia, and all the dreamers who move across it. Some hunt on the land. Some mine it. Set deep in the traditional territory of the Tahltan First Nation, KONELĪNE captures beauty and complexity as one of Canada’s vast wildernesses undergoes irrevocable change.

Karen Bakker is Professor, Canada Research Chair, and Director of the Program on Water Governance at the University of British Columbia (www.watergovernance.ca). She is currently the midwife (aka Principal Investigator) to a research collective of Indigenous community members, academics, artists, activists who are striving to decolonize water in both theory and practice (www.decolonizingwater.ca). A Rhodes Scholar with a PhD from Oxford, Karen is trained in both the natural and social sciences. She currently works at the intersection of political economy and political ecology, and publishes on a wide range of environmental issues (water, hydropower, food, energy).

Jan 23 | Film Screening: KONELĪNE: our land beautiful

Best Canadian Documentary, Hot Docs 2016

konelineTRANSCENDENT… epic spectacle. […]She lets the camera hunt for art in every frame, mining veins of abstract beauty rather than sharp nuggets of political narrative”  Brian D. Johnson, Maclean’s

ASTONISHING, stunningly beautiful. […] Equal parts sigh, song and cry.”  Linda Barnard, Toronto Star

BREATHTAKING, gripping. […] Finds beauty in unexpected places.” David Perri, The Northern Miner

WINNER of the Best Canadian Film of 2016 at the HOT DOCS Intl’ Film Festival, KONELĪNE: our land beautiful brings its sensual and visceral ride to UC Santa Cruz:

Monday, January 23, 2017

Humanities 2, room 259  4:30PM

KONELĪNE Trailer: https://vimeo.com/180675200

Celebrated for using art to seek beauty and complexity where you least expect to find them, KONELĪNE (pronounced Ko-na- lee´-na)  is garnering rave reviews for its fair-minded and cinematically stunning exploration of northwest British Columbia and the extraordinary people who move across that land.  Set deep in the traditional territory of the Tahltan First Nation, KONELĪNE captures an epic canvas of beauty and complexity as one of Canada’s vast wildernesses undergoes irrevocable change.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Nettie Wild, KONELĪNE delights in exploding stereotypes with scenes of breathtaking spectacle. Heidi Gutfrucht, both a big-game hunter and fierce environmentalist, swims her 17 horses across the unforgiving Stikine River. A Tahltan First Nation diamond driller bores deep into the same territory his elders are fighting to protect.  And a white hunter carries a bow and arrow while a Tahltan elder shoots moose with a high-powered rifle.

Cameraman Van Royko won the 2016 Award for Best Documentary Cinematography from the Canadian Society of Cinematographers for KONELĪNE, which is shot and projected in wide screen with surround sound.

KONELĪNE: our land beautiful is a cinematic poem that cuts through the rhetorical roar of our times. It’s turning heads and changing minds. Don’t miss it.  96 mins with conversation to follow.


KONELĪNE: our land beautiful is a Canada Wild production, produced in association with Telefilm Canada and the Rogers Group of Funds through the Theatrical Documentary Program; Super Channel; Canal D, a division of Bell Media Inc.; Knowledge Network; The Canada Media Fund; developed in association with The National Film Board and Creative BC; produced with the participation of Rogers Documentary Fund; the Shaw Media/Hot Docs Completion Fund; the Canadian Film or Video Tax Credit; and the Province of British Columbia Film Incentive BC.

Sept 13 | Blum Center | SEEDS, SOILS and POLITICS: An Anthropology Roundtable

Blum Seeds and Soils

Twenty anthropologists and ethnographers from across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and North America will discuss new forms of public and private governance over seeds and soils, how these influence farmers engagement, and how do citizens mobilize to regain control over the seeds and soils on which their daily sustenance, their health and well-being depend.

By considering the relationship of farmers with the living things of soil and seeds together with their relationship to different forms of national and international policy-making, anthropologists engage this comprehensive approach to examine how environmental change is co-created through policies and practices. They will share the outcome of their recent discussions in this roundtable.

Contemporary ways of cultivating and agricultural development strategies are framed by the marketplace: typically today such measures are privatized, corporate, and profit driven, and thus they frequently neglect or even devalue local survival strategies among the world’s poorest. Please join in this public panel that will address the ways in which states and corporations govern living objects that shape peoples’ sustenance, determine the survival of mankind, and the quality of life which have fueled the mobilization of citizens worldwide. Anthropologists have started to analyze the discourses and strategies of farmers, foodies and environmentalists who try to shed the status of consumer, stakeholder or expert and reclaim the status of citizens and of food sovereignty instead of food security. How is the issue of citizenship, the right to food, the claim to be protected from fake food and seeds reformulated? How do these notions impact on decision-making, and the notion/perception of economic democracy?


Co-sponsored by the Wenner Gren Foundation, National Science Foundation, UCSC Blum Center, Science and Justice Research Center, and UCSC Dept. of Anthropology.


September 13 | 2:00-4:30pm | Louden Nelson Community Center, room 1

May 24 | Reading Group: Eben Kirksey on Emergent Ecologies

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 | 4:00-6:00PM | Oakes College Mural Room

In an eEmergent Ecologies - book coverra of global warming, natural disasters, endangered species, and devastating pollution, contemporary writing on the environment largely focuses on doomsday scenarios. Eben Kirksey suggests we reject such apocalyptic thinking and instead find possibilities in the wreckage of ongoing disasters, as symbiotic associations of opportunistic plants, animals, and microbes are flourishing in unexpected places. Emergent Ecologies uses artwork and contemporary philosophy to illustrate hopeful opportunities and reframe key problems in conservation biology such as invasive species, extinction, environmental management, and reforestation. Following the flight of capital and nomadic forms of life—through fragmented landscapes of Panama, Costa Rica, and the United States—Kirksey explores how chance encounters, historical accidents, and parasitic invasions have shaped present and future multispecies communities. New generations of thinkers and tinkerers are learning how to care for emergent ecological assemblages—involving frogs, fungal pathogens, ants, monkeys, people, and plants—by seeding them, nurturing them, protecting them, and ultimately letting go.

Selected Readings: Emergent Ecologies: Chapters 5 6 7

Eben Kirksey is a permanent faculty member in Environmental Humanities at UNSW Australia and a Visiting Research Scholar at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. He is the editor of The Multispecies Salon and the author of Freedom in Entangled Worlds: West Papua and the Architecture of Global Power, both also published by Duke University Press.

Apr 20 | Digital Dreams and Their Discontents: Where do we go from here?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 | 4:00 – 5:30PM | SJRC Common Room (Oakes 231)

A conversation with Erin McElroy (PhD Candidate, Feminist Studies, UCSC) and Sara Tocchetti (SJRC Visiting Scholar, Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre Alexandre Koyré, Paris, France).

Erin McElroy on the Digital Nomad

With the emergence of Silicon Valley’s “Tech Boom 2.0,” so too has emerged the figure of the “digital nomad”—a type of transient technologic worker tethered to Silicon Valley corporations yet able to embody new mobilities vis-à-vis the globalization of high-speed fiber-optics and sharing economy infrastructure. From San Francisco to new global outposts such as Romania, which boasts the world’s fifth fastest internet speed due to postsocialist technologic economization, the arrival of the digital nomad often incites contexts of gentrification, manifesting as increased rental prices, eviction rates, and forced homelessness/nomadism. Critical of this correlation as well as formative histories of nomadic racial fantasy, I also question what other uses of digital technology, such as that of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, emerge not just to critique technologies of displacement, but also to fight for other futures of the digital?

Erin McElroy is a Doctoral Student in Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz and cofounder/director of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, a digital cartography and oral history collective documenting the ecology of “Tech Boom” induced gentrification. McElroy brings a spatial analysis and collective ethos to their research, which studies materializations and histories of dispossessive technologies in Romania, employing ethnography, literary/cultural analysis, and archival work, and utilizing postsocialist analytics and feminist science and technology studies. McElroy holds a MA in Cultural Anthropology from CIIS and a BA in Cultural Studies from Hampshire College, and is an active anti-eviction organizer with Eviction Free San Francisco.

Sara Tocchetti on DIYbio and the Possibility of Critical Life Sciences

Drawing from the analogy with the personal computer and other personalized technologies, DIYbio members envision biology and biotechnology as a creative and personal technology to be made available to everyone. Such ideology of a ‘personal biology’ can be understood as a variation of ‘digital utopianism’ and seems especially attractive for young and/or disenfranchised students and researchers. Working through several case studies of DIYbio initiatives and engaging with a general sense of enthusiasm for such practices expressed in the STS literature, this presentation questions what type of critical space does digital utopianism occupies in the life sciences and STS and what forms of alternative practices we might need to recollect and/or imagine.

Sara Tocchetti recently received her PhD from the London School of Economics working on the DIYbio network, socio-technical utopias, theories of technology driven social change, and her own professional identity. Feeling stuck as an ex-biologist-not-yet turned into a science and technology studies scholar, she has moved on to study the history and present of radical science movements and is currently based at the Centre Alexandre Koyré in Paris on an Early Post-doc Scholarship from the Swiss National Fund. Her recent publications includes Is an FBI Agent a DIY Biologist Like Any Other? A Cultural Analysis of a Biosecurity Risk (Tocchetti and Aguiton, 2015) and Quelles tactiques critiques sur le terrain des promesses scientifiques [Which critical tactics in the field of scientific promises] (Aguiton, Bovet and Tocchetti, 2015).