Features

Dust

The building pictured below sat near Mack Avenue on Detroit’s far east side and, according to the municipal government, was an environmental hazard. Following years of complaints from area residents that the structure smelled of rotting garbage and attracted criminal activity, the building is slated for demolition. In mid-2017, a fifty-five-ton excavator piloted by a human operator knocked down the …

Features

Justice, Science, and Pedagogy

This article is part of the series:

As we consider the role of justice in pedagogy and scholarship, I want to ask a simple but difficult question:

What is our ethical task?

Do we desire to be right? Do we desire to be powerful? Do we desire to be empathetic and other-oriented?

Earlier in my academic career, I understood my pedagogical task to be equipping students to …

Features

Detritus

I employed the category ‘detritus’ in the early 2000s to diagnose the different kinds of residues of racial capitalism with which people struggled in the shadows of South Durban’s oil refineries. These residues ranged from various attempts at documenting the effects of industrial pollution, to the many ways in which people confronted the embodied and sensual remains of apartheid’s racial …

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Working for the Race: Black Scholars, Invisible Labor, and the Baggage of Creating Space

This article is part of the series:

Photograph taken by Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, February 25, 2017

“Critical Histories, Activist Futures: Science, Medicine and Racial Violence,” a conference hosted by Yale University in February 2017, was a welcome departure from the Anglo-centrism dominating the fields of the History of Science and Medicine (HS&M). Focusing on the history of knowledge production, dissemination, and professionalization using objects, practices, and ideas, …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Marching for Science, which is what, exactly?

Many of you may have marched (or chosen not to march) at last week’s March for Science. I marched with my partner and young son here in Coimbatore, India.

It’s fair to say that confusion, controversy, and disagreement plagued the Science March from early on, for two important reasons: The first, from a group of scientists who believe the …

Features

Is It Okay to Say that Research ‘Verges on Scientific Racism’?

Last fall, a group of researchers – mostly biological anthropologists and sleep researchers – published a study of three ‘pre-industrial’ communities, one in Latin America, two in Africa, and claimed that based on their data, consolidated nightly sleep is a human norm, inferring that it is the product of natural selection. The media picked up the research findings, and I …