Science for the People Research Collective

Thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation and UMass History Department, we were able to provide mini-fellowships to three student-scholars (Alyssa Botelho, Dan Chard, and Thomas Conner) who collected, organized, edited, and analyzed materials on the history of Science for the People during and after the conference. They were  joined by Ben Allen and Colin Garvey, who learned about the project as a result of the conference itself, and by Sigrid Schmalzer (UMass faculty). The bulk of our work has gone into producing a volume of primary sources on SftP titled Science for the People: Documents from America’s Movement of Radical Scientists (Amherst, Mass.: UMass Press, 2018).

Ben Allen is a scientist, educator, and labor activist. He earned a B.S. in Biochemistry, Cellular, & Molecular Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville while performing research on translational elongation in Arabidopsis thaliana and organismal modeling of fish from family Cichlidae. Recently, he graduated with a M.S. in Science Education from UTK with a thesis on science, ideology, and education reform.

Alyssa Botelho is a MD-PhD student at Harvard Medical School, studying History of Science. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on the history of one episode related to SftP — the 1976 fight over recombinant DNA in Cambridge, Mass. — for which she interviewed former SftP members and used relevant archives at Harvard.

Dan Chard is a Ph.D. candidate in History at UMass Amherst, where he is completing a dissertation on prisoners’ rights movements. He has a wealth of experience researching social movements, including extensive oral history and archival work, and he has a published article in The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics, and Culture. He has also conducted research on the history of scientific innovation at UMass.

Thomas Conner is a Ph.D. student in Communication at UCSD, where he is immersed in the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies. His research has focused on technology and popular music, and he has also written on protest music in Occupy. Prior to his graduate work in STS, he had a long history as a journalist during which he logged thousands of interviews.

Colin Garvey is a Ph.D. student in Science and Technology Studies at RPI, where he is researching the history of Science for the People as a social movement and the impact of Science for the People on the field of Science and Technology Studies.

Sigrid Schmalzer is a faculty member in the History Department and director of the Social Thought & Political Economy program at UMass Amherst. Her research focuses on the history of science in socialist-era China; her interest in Science for the People originated in a small research project she completed on the 1973 and 1978 SftP delegations to China.

Further assistance provided by

Melanie McCalmont, Data Journalist and Geographer

Osato Nneka Egonmwan, Undergraduate Student in Social Thought & Political Economy, UMass Amherst

Olivia Espinoza, Undergraduate Student in Social Thought & Political Economy, UMass Amherst