Category Archives: Conference blog

Four students in the UMass undergraduate seminar, “History 492AH: Science for the People,” will be writing about their experiences here.

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Plenary Panel: “The History and Lasting Significance of Science for the People”

The first speaker in this panel was Kelly More, she discussed Science for the People and what was distinctive about Science for the People during the time they were active. She talked about how the group rallied around the use of scientific development for military purposes. She talked about the scientists involved and their response to their peers who were… Read more »

Women and Science

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The first speaker was Donna Riley a professor of engineering at Smith College posed the idea that the discussion should not be about women in science, but about gender in science so the conversation will be more inclusive for all involved. She discussed the work of feminists in Science for the People and how they changed common thinking about the… Read more »

Challenging Myth of Race and Gender

Jonathan Beckwith from Harvard University’s School of Medicine opened the panel discussing biological determinism. He discussed that in the 1970s biological determinism was an extremely popular topic in the biological community. From Science for the People’s work with biological determinism two groups arose, council for responsible genetics and the sociobiology study group. He then discussed the focus of genome biology… Read more »

“Where do we go from here?” – Closing Plenary

The closing plenary provided a thought provoking end to the conference with it’s focus on the future.  The six panelists, which included three original SftP members, a UC Berkeley professor, and two AAAS fellows, began the session by each divulging about their careers, both past and future.  The panelists represented a gamut of differing experiences: Vinton Thomas, Steve Nadel, and… Read more »

SftP in the World

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In this panel Ivette Perfecto, Minna Barrett, Dave Culver, and Dianne Rocheleau talked about their experiences with Science for the People around the world, not just in the Untied States.  Together, they presented an idea of Science for the People as a global movement. Ivette was the first to present, documenting the collaboration between SftP and Nicaragua.  While the Sandinista’s… Read more »

Keynote Lecture

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Saturday evening, John Vandermeer spoke for an hour as the keynote speaker of the SftP conference. He was introduced by Katherine Yih, an epidemiologist in Boston and member of the Ann Arbor SftP. Yih offered a wonderful introduction, speaking of Vandermeer’s wonderful characteristics that led to his contributions, including his work in Nicaragua.   Vandermeer gave an incredibly moving speech. … Read more »

Math and Computer Technology

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Chandler Davis was the first to speak; he discussed different organizations of mathematicians and their work against social injustice. The specific organizations he discussed are Mathematician’s Action Group, Association of Women in Mathematics and the National Association of Mathematics. He found himself irritated by recruiting ads for war research and issued a statement saying: “Mathematicians we urge you to take… Read more »

Agricultural Science and Food Justice

Chaired by Brian Schultz, this panel in the Cape Cod Lounge of Sue Tafler, Margaret Reeves, Mike Hansen, and Shambu Prasad Chebrolu, discussed both the work that the original Science for the People organization accomplished in the field of agriculture, and how people’s organizations still operate today.   Sue Tafler, who was a high school teacher at the time of… Read more »

Science and Ideology

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In this panel in the Cape Cod Lounge, Katherine Yih, Doug Boucher, and Dick Levins, moderated by Abha Sur, discussed their views on the ideologies and guiding principles of Science for the People as an organization.   Katherine Yih was the first to present. Entitled “How do we do ‘science for the people?’,” her talk laid out the guiding principles… Read more »

DC Metro SftP

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The DC Metro Science for the People proclaims themselves as the only still active Science for the People group. The panel was composed of Jane Zara, John Tharakan, and David Schwartzman who discussed different projects of interest to the DC Metro SftP  and the greater -DC area.   John Tharakan opened the panel by retelling the story of Easter Island as… Read more »