Science for the People: The 1970s and Today

11-13 April 2014, UMass, Amherst

(all events except dinners were free and open to the public)

Click panel titles to see videos of the panels

Friday, April 11

7:00 p.m.

Science for the People: Stories from the Movement

Thompson 102

Former members of Science for the People will be interviewed by UMass students and will respond to questions. Including Carol Cina, Britta Fischer, Herb Fox, Terri Goldberg, Michael Goldhaber, and Al Weinrub.

Saturday, April 12

9:00 - 11:30 a.m.

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

Thompson 102

Sigrid Schmalzer. Professor of History, Director of Social Thought & Political Economy, UMass Amherst. Chair.

Kelly Moore. Professor of Sociology, Loyola University Chicago. “Knowledge for Justice: Science for the People in the Context of Scientist Activism”

Susan Lindee. Professor of History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania. “Sftp and the ‘Hidden Curriculum’ of Cold War Science”

Sarah Bridger. Professor of History, California Polytechnic State University. “”Science at War: Anti-Militarism and the Critique of Professional Neutrality in the Origins of SftP”

Alyssa Botelho. BA, Harvard College 2013. “SftP and the 1976 Cambridge Recombinant DNA Controversy”

Peter Taylor. Director, Science in a Changing World, UMass Boston. “The More and Less Visible Colleges of Marxist Scientists and Critics

Comments to follow from SftP members Rich Rosen and Lorne Taichman

1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Science and Ideology

Cape Cod Lounge
Organizers: Abha Sur and Katherine Yih

Katherine Yih, Ann Arbor SftP member. “How do we do ‘science for the people’? The role of ideology” (PDF FILE OF YIH PRESENTATION)

Abha Sur, MIT. “Science, Solidarity, and Resistance: The Transformational Politics of Science for the People”

Doug Boucher. Union of Concerned Scientists, Ann Arbor SftP member. “Population growth and Science for the People’s critique of Malthusian thinking, in light of recent evidence” (PDF FILE OF BOUCHER PRESENTATION)

Dick Levins. Professor of Population Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health. Founding member of Science for Vietnam and SftP in Chicago. “One Foot In, One Foot Out.

Math and Computer Technology

Campus Center 903
Organizer: Robert Shapiro

Chandler Davis. Professor of Mathematics, University of Toronto, SftP Member. “Mathematicians against the American War in Vietnam”

R. D. Ogden. Professor of Computer Science (Emeritus), Texas State University, SftP member. “The N.S.A. and the Ethical Formation of Computer Scientists” (PDF FILE FOR OGDEN PRESENTATION)

Robert Shapiro. President, Process Analytica LLC; Chair, Technical Committee — Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC); SftP member. “Computers and the Movement: Critique and Applications”

Steven Brewer. Director, Biology Computer Resource Center, UMass Amherst. “Community Television, Free Software, and Maker/Hacker Communities: Aspirations of Freedom” (DOC FILE FOR BREWER PRESENTATION)

Teaching Social Justice in Science

Campus Center 905
Organizer: Florence Sullivan

Roberta Garner. Professor of Sociology, DePaul University, SftP member. “Reclaiming Territory: Teaching Statistics, Methods, and Online Courses.” (PDF FILE OF GARNER PRESENTATION)

Ron Eglash. Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “Generative Justice: Computational Mathematics and Social Self-Organization” (PDF FILE OF EGLASH PRESENTATION)

G. Michael Barnett. Professor of Education, Boston College. “Urban Farming: A Youth-based, Proactive Response to Food Deserts in Urban Neighborhoods”

Steve Alsop. Professor of Education, York University. “Reflections on the Activist Question within Science and Technology Education” (PDF FILE FOR ALSOP PRESENTATION)

The Militarization of Science: SftP’s Historical Impact and Current Challenges

Du Bois Library 2601
Organizer: Elke Heckner

Jonathan King. Professor of Biology, MIT, SftP member. “Resisting Biological Weapons: Strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention”

Frances Crowe. Former director of Western Mass American Friends Service Committee; Anti-War Activist. “Opposing Anthrax Research at UMass in the 1980s”

Elke Heckner. University of Iowa. “Virtual Humans and the Militarization of PTSD Therapies”

Derek Denman. JHU Human Rights Working Group, Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University. “Drone Research at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory”

3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Agricultural Science and Food Justice

Cape Cod Lounge
Organizer: Sigrid Schmalzer

Brian Schultz. Professor of Entomology and Ecology, Hampshire College. Chair.

Sue Tafler. SftP member. “An SftP High School Curriculum: Feed, Need, Greed–Food, Resources, & Population” (PDF FILE OF TAFLER PRESENTATION)

Margaret Reeves. Pesticide Action Network, SftP member. “Grassroots Science: People powering change on pesticides” (PDF FILE OF REEVES PRESENTATION)

Mike Hansen. Consumers Union, SftP member. “Working with citizen movements and people’s organization: Pesticides, Genetic Engineering, and BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy)”

Shambu Prasad Chebrolu. Professor of Rural Management and Development, Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar. “Knowledge commons in agriculture: Emerging Peoples science initiatives in India” (PDF FILE OF CHEBROLU PRESENTATION)

Challenging Myth of Race and Gender

Du Bois Library 2601
Organizer: Alan Goodman

Jonathan Beckwith. Professor of Microbiology, Harvard Medical School, SftP member. “Challenges to and Changes in Genetic Determinisms, 1970s – ” (PDF FILE OF BECKWITH PRESENTATION)

Anne Fausto-Sterling. Professor of Biology, Brown University, SftP member. “Changing Categories of Gender Critique: From Myths and Bias to Bodies that Matter”

Alan Goodman. Professor of Biological Anthropology, Hampshire College. “Scientific Racism and Anti-Racism: 1969 – 2014”

Toxics and Occupational and Public Health

Campus Center 903
Organizer: Frank Mirer

Frank Bove. Board Member, Environmental Community Action (ECO-Action), a grassroots environmental organization in Georgia. “Environmental epidemiology for the people: Working with communities on toxic chemicals and the precautionary principle” (PDF FILE OF BOVE PRESENTATION)

Scott Schneider. Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America. “Working for workers: Doing Science for the People in the union movement” (DOCX FILE OF SCHNEIDER PRESENTATION)

David Kotelchuck. Professional Staff Congress-City College of New York and Hunter. “An Odyssey from High-Energy Physics to Occupational Health and Safety, with Inspiration from SftP” (PDF FILE OF KOTELCHUK PRESENTATION)

Frank Mirer. Former United Autombile Workers and Hunter. “Doing Well by Being Left: Occupational Health in Service of the Union Movement” (PDF FILE OF MIRER PRESENTATION)

DC Metro Science for the People: Continuing our Legacy in the 21st Century!

Campus Center 905
Organizer: David Schwartzman


Jane Zara. Nat’l Lawyers Guild, DC Statehood Green Party, DC Metro Science for the People. “Our DC Metro SFTP History; How to Combat the Expropriation, Appropriation and Privatization of Biological Resources” (PDF FILE OF ZARA PRESENTATION)

Joanne Fleming. Student at the University of the District of Columbia, Health-Care Worker, Human Rights/Peace Activist, DC Metro Science for the People. “Links between Science and Community Activism in the Struggle to Save McMillan Park

John Tharakan. Professor of Engineering, Howard University, DC Metro Science for the People. “Criteria for Appropriate Technology” (PDF FILE OF THARAKAN PRESENTATION)

5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

Keynote Lecture

Thompson 102

John Vandermeer. Asa Gray Distinguished University Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, SftP member. “Mentoring Comrades: The Dialectics of Political Mentoring in the Natural Sciences.”

Sunday, April 13

9:00 - 11:30 a.m.

SftP in the World

Campus Center 903
Organizers: Sigrid Schmalzer and Minna Barrett

Ivette Perfecto. Professor of Ecology, University of Michigan, SftP member. “New World Agriculture and Ecology Group in Nicaragua: The Sandinista Years” (PDF FILE OF PERFECTO PRESENTATION)

Minna Barrett. Professor of Psychology, SUNY Old Westbury, SftP member. “SftP and China”

Dave Culver. SftP member. “Science for Vietnam”

Dianne Rocheleau, Professor, Geography, Clark University. “Solidarity Science Today: Resistance and Alternatives to Sustainable Development Run Amok” (PDF FILE OF ROCHELEAU PRESENTATATION)

Climate change and energy technology and policy

Cape Cod Lounge
Organizer: Brian Tokar

Brian Tokar. University of Vermont & Institute for Social Ecology. “The Politics of Climate and Energy: Past and Present”

David Schwartzman. Professor of Biology (Emeritus), Howard University. “Prospect of a bottom-up solar revolution igniting an ecosocialist transition” (PDF FILE OF SCHWARTZMAN PRESENTATION)

Rachel Smolker. Biofuelwatch & Energy Justice Network. “Manipulating the carbon cycle? Biofuels, biological ‘carbon dioxide removal’ for climate geoengineering and the bioeconomy”

Michael Dorsey, Professor of Environment Studies Program, Wesleyan University. “The legacy & arc of climate justice”

Women and Science

Campus Center 911-915
Organizer: Donna Riley

Banu Subramaniam. Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, UMass Amherst. “The Emperor’s New Clothes: Rethinking the Question of Women in the Sciences”

Angela Willey. Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, UMass Amherst. “Science Activism in the Lesbian Feminist Archives: Lessons for a Queer Feminist Science Studies”

Amy Slaton. Professor of History and Politics, Drexel University. “Gender at the Bench: High-Tech Labor and Identity in a Neoliberal Era”

Donna Riley. Professor of Engineering, Smith College. “Persisting and Resisting: SftP’s legacy for feminist engagement with Science”

Health, medicine, pro- and anti-people healthcare models

Campus Center 905
Organizer: Robert Shapiro

Martha Livingston. Professor of Public Health, SUNY Old Westbury. “The Health Left and SftP’s Legacy, 40 years On”

Arlene Ash. Professor of Quantitative Health Sciences, UMass Medical School, Worcester, SftP member. ““Better, Cheaper Health Care: Can Technocrats Help?” (PDF FILE OF ASH PRESENTATION)

Martha Herbert. Neurologist, Mass General and Harvard Medical School. “Transforming Autism Science and Standards of Care Through Crowd-Sourcing Community Practices”

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Closing Plenary: “SftP 2.0… Where do we go from here?”

Thompson 102

The founding document for SCIENTISTS dedicated to vigorous SOCIAL and POLITICAL ACTION (precursor to SftP) announced the intent to establish a “forum where all concerned scientists — and especially students and younger members of the profession — may explore the questions, Why are we scientists? For whose benefit do we work? What is the full measure of our moral and social responsibility?” The panelists assembled here will offer a range of answers on these questions and will open a discussion of how young scientists today can imagine their futures as part of a progressive movement to build a science for the people. We expect to engage a wide range of experiences and views from the participants in the conference.

Vinton Thompson. President, Metropolitan College, SftP member.

Steve Nadel. Climate activist, SftP member.

Ivan Handler. Chief Technology Officer, Illinois Office of Health Information Technology, SftP member.

Ignacio Chapela. Professor of Environmental Science, University of California Berkeley.

Darshan Karwat. AAAS Fellow, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. (PDF FILE OF KARWAT PRESENTATION)

Karoline Pershell. AAAS Fellow, Department of State, Foreign Service Institute. (PDF OF PERSHELL PRESENTATION)