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