13 March 2017

Science, objectivity, race, gender

Have you heard of Space + Anthropology? This group blog through Medium.com brings together commentaries on the intersections between tech, culture, space, sci-fi, art, and anthropology. We already blogged in a past post of reading lists and syllabi about Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein's fantastic Decolonising Science Reading List.

Other eye-catching pieces from Space + Anthropology include "Native Sci-fi Films and Trailers"
by William Lempert and Michael Oman-Reagan's "Anthropology in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”." But we want to highlight another piece by Prescod-Weinstein: "The Self-Construction of Black Women Physicists" based on a talk she gave at Yale’s Critical Histories, Activist Futures: “Decolonizing Science by Reconstructing Observers.”
Where the work of science is to continuously excavate the boundaries of what we do not know, it becomes clear that the relationship between the questions we ask and the axioms of scientist-construction has epistemic meaning for what we may come to know about physics.
To be Black means to have your capacity to have an insightful epistemic standpoint constantly questioned. ... This epistemic alienation serves a status quo where communities at the margins are excluded from discourse about what science is and whom it serves.
How might this piece by Prescod-Weinstein be useful in raising the complexities of and intersections between science, objectivity, race, and gender with our students? How do hegemonic cultural assumptions shape how knowledge is created, validated, and disseminated?

Quick links and further reading: