Past Meetings

Past meeting topics:

September 27, 9:30-11:00 a.m. Arise! We discussed We discussed Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s new book Accessory to War, on the relationship between astrophysics, the space program, and militarism. To help summarize the book, use this radio interview (and/or the accompanying text highlights) available here.

September 20, 9:30-11:00 a.m. Herter Annex. We discussed the upcoming events, M. Jahi Chappell’s talk on Beginning to End Hunger and the co-sponsorship of Climate Action Now’s meeting to unveil their newest campaign against the proposed Columbia Gas pipeline construction in West Springfield and throughout the valley.

September 13, 9:30-11:00 a.m. Arise!

September 6, 9:30-11:00 a.m. Herter Annex.

August 29, 9:30-11:00 a.m. Arise!

August 22, 9:30-11:00 a.m. Arise!

August 15, 9:30-11:00 a.m. Arise!

August 8, 9:30-11:00 a.m. Arise!

August 1, 9:30-11:00 a.m. Arise!

July 25, 9:30-11:00 a.m. Arise!

Monday, April 9, 10 a.m.: We finally met Tatiana “the Mold Lady” and learned about her long and extraordinary struggle to address the problem of mold in her rented apartment, which has had serious health consequences for her young son. We had a great discussion and are moving forward with the 4/21 event, knowing that that will be the beginning and not the end of our work on this issue. We anticipate that the event will lay the groundwork for a community education campaign (educating people who may be experiencing mold infestations, in addition to judges, school officials, and others…), and also a strategy moving forward for policy change and/or legal challenges.

Monday, March 3/5, 3/12, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 10 a.m.: We had lots of lively discussions about the national SftP draft principles of unity and other questions of SftP’s political identity. We also have been planning an event that is coming together: “MOLD, HOUSING, AND HEALTH: A CONVERSATION WITH TATIANA ‘THE MOLD LADY’ AND UMASS BIOCHEMIST LI-JUN MA” — April 21st, 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Arise for Social Justice, 467 State Street, Springfield, MA. This SftP-organized event will include presentations, Q&A, and activities for kids.

Monday, February 26, 10:00 a.m. Herter Hall Annex Room 121, UMass. We identified representatives for our chapter on the national-level Steering Committee. We continued our lively discussion of just what “science for the people” means and in what ways we see what aspects of science to be political or not political. We discussed and came close to finalizing the survey on science for / against the people in Western Mass. And we made progress on at least two science workshops to be organized at Arise and the Recovery Learning Center in Springfield.

Monday, February 26, 10:00 a.m. Herter Hall Annex Room 121, UMass. We had an exciting meeting — so exciting we made it through only one item on our agenda. Two members of the Springfield organization Arise for Social Justice (Tavar Jones and Lisa Sergienko) came to talk with us about how we can collaborate on community-based projects. Out of that conversation came a number of ideas that we will begin seriously exploring.

Monday, February 12, 10:00 a.m. in Herter 601. We made a breakthrough with what we’ve been calling “the survey.” We’re going to split it up into two pieces. 1) The first will be a straight-forward effort to reach out to people throughout Western Mass to gather local examples of “science for the people” and “science against the people.” We define the former as STEM work explicitly committed to solving problems of social, political, economic, and/or environmental injustice, and we especially want to highlight examples where scientists and scholars have worked in collaborative partnership with community-based organizations. We define the latter STEM work that contributes to problems of social, political, economic, and/or environmental injustice. We are especially concerned about examples where scientists and scholars have received funding from corporate or military sources that influenced the trajectory of the research. Sigrid has committed to bringing a draft to the next meeting that we hope can be tweaked and finalized for distribution. 2) The second will be a more dynamic discussion of the ethical and political “scenarios” that we have been drafting and discussing in meetings. We plan to engage these questions by creating videos of faculty engaging in critical dialogue that can then serve as a springboard for online discussion. We are using the time between now and 2/26 to brainstorm ideas for this. If you are a faculty member willing to engage in a video dialogue, or if you have an idea as to who would be good for this, please let us know. Thank you!

Monday, February 5, 10:00 a.m. in Herter 601. We talked about the SftP National Convention that happened the previous weekend and discussed the “scenarios” that people drafted for possible inclusion in our survey about science for and against the people.

Monday, January 29, 9:00 a.m. in Herter 601. We discussed Lola Fatunmbi’s poem, “Bad Science,” originally published in the GWIS Quarterly Magazine, our ongoing efforts to create a survey about science for and against the people, and a new idea to create “pop-up science shops” to help scientists connect with community organizations.

Monday, December 11, 9:00 a.m. in Herter 601. We discussed the upcoming national convention and revisited the idea of conducting a survey on the social responsibility of scientists and local examples of science for and against the people.

Monday, November 27th, 9:00 a.m. in Herter 601. We discussed Sophie Wang’s wonderful comic “Science Under the Scope” and talked about the plans for a national Science for the People convention in Ann Arbor, Michigan the first weekend of February.

Monday, October 23rd, 9:00 a.m. in Herter 601 (UMass campus). In preparation for Jonathan King’s visit (see below), we discussed this article in The Nation by Richard Krushnic and Jonathan Alan King: “Meet the Private Corporations Building Our Nuclear Arsenal”. As always, please come to the meeting whether or not you are able to complete the reading!