Past Events

Beginning to End Hunger Book Talk

Tuesday, September 25, 4:00-5:30 at Thompson 620, UMass

The Western Mass Chapter of Science for the People invites the public to join political agroecologist M. Jahi Chappell in a discussion of his path-breaking new book: Beginning to End Hunger: Food and environment in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and beyond. Chappell presents the story of Belo Horizonte, home to 2.5 million people and the site of one of the world’s most successful food security programs. Since its Municipal Secretariat of Food and Nutritional Security was founded in 1993, Belo Horizonte has sharply reduced malnutrition, leading it to serve as an inspiration for Brazil’s renowned Zero Hunger programs. The secretariat’s work with local family farmers shows how food security, rural livelihoods, and healthy ecosystems can be supported together. In this convincing case study, M. Jahi Chappell establishes the importance of holistic approaches to food security, suggests how to design successful policies to end hunger, and lays out strategies for enacting policy change. With these tools, we can take the next steps toward achieving similar reductions in hunger and food insecurity elsewhere in the developed and developing worlds.

M. Jahi Chappell is a political agroecologist with training in ecology and evolutionary biology, science and technology studies, and chemical engineering. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) at Coventry University, a Fellow of Food First/the Institute for Food and Development Policy, and an Adjunct Faculty member of the School of the Environment at Washington State University.

 

 

Mold, Housing, and Health: A Community Conversation with Tatiana ‘the Mold Lady’ and UMass Genomicist Li-Jun Ma.

Saturday, April 12, 1:00-3:00 at Arise for Social Justice, Springfield (467 State Street). Download PDF of Poster here

 

 

March for Science in Boston

Our chapter has decided that our energy (both human-carbon and fossil-carbon) will best be spent locally working on community organizing like the Mold event. However, the Boston chapter will be ensuring a presence for Science for the People at the Boston March for Science on Saturday, April 14th.

 

Image result for march for science boston
Photo from MassLive.com

Invest in Minds not Missiles: Resisting the Trillion-Dollar Nuclear Weapons Escalation

A lecture by MIT biologist and Science for the People member Jonathan King. Wednesday, October 25, 4:00 p.m., Gordon Hall 303, UMass Amherst

Sponsored by Western Mass Science for the People and the UMass Political Economy Research Institute


The growth of higher education and university-based scientific research in the U.S. after WWII has been critically dependent on federal investments, voted annually as part of the congressional discretionary budget. In recent years more than 55% of this budget—our income taxes—has been spent on war and weapon purchase accounts. Recently President Trump proposed more cuts in key programs supporting education and research—including NIH, NSF, EPA, and NOAA—in order to fund a $54 billion increase (~10%) in military spending. This will bring the fraction of our tax dollars spent on preparation for war to more than 60% of the total congressional budget. Many of the weapons programs—such as the proposed trillion-dollar nuclear weapons “modernization”—are provocative and destabilizing, more likely to decrease national security than increase it. The excessive costs will greatly weaken programs addressing social needs. Defending higher education and basic research will require explicitly resisting the diversion of our tax dollars to military accounts.

Speaker Biography:
Jonathan Alan King is a professor of molecular biology at MIT, where he has long taught biochemistry and directed biomedical research on protein misfolding and human disease <http://web.mit.edu/king-lab>. King is a past president of the national Biophysical Society, a former Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Jane Coffin Childs Fund Fellow, and Guggenheim Fellow, and a recipient of the NIH MERIT Award. Long involved in issues of science and society, Prof. King was a member of the original Science for the People. He served for many years on the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology’s national committee addressing the federal R& D budget, as well as the national Joint Committee on Biomedical Research. He was also a leader of the national campaign of biomedical scientists to press the Senate to ratify the Biological Weapons Convention and helped organize a successful campaign against anthrax research at UMass Amherst. King currently serves on the Board of Massachusetts Peace Action and chairs its Nuclear Disarmament Working Group. He is also active in the national People’s Budget Coalition that supports the Congressional Progressive Caucus on federal budget priorities.

Co-sponsors:
Massachusetts Society of Professors, Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts, UMass History Department, UMass Social Thought & Political Economy Program, UMass Resistance Studies Initiative, Northampton Committee to Stop the Wars, Resistance Center for Peace and Justice.

Graduate Women in STEM

New Issue of GQM, the Magazine of GWIS (Graduate Women in STEM). A shout-out to Joelle Labastide and her colleagues in GWIS for putting out another great issue of GQM. This issue is titled Tuning In and includes articles, art, and even STEM-related playlists.