Reception and Public Lecture | Understanding Emerging Technologies, Racial Equity and the Future of Work | April 5

Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 3:30pm to 5:30pm
John W. Olver Design Building | UMass Amherst
The Institute for Social Science Research, in collaboration with the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, College of Information and Computing Sciences, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, and the Chancellor's Office invites the public to attend a welcome reception and keynote address on "Understanding Emerging Technologies, Racial Equity and the Future of Work," delivered by Moshe Vardi, the George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering and Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology at Rice University. Enobong (Anna) Branch, Associate Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion and Associate Professor of Sociology at UMass Amherst will follow with a critical reflection on racial inequalities in the workforce and the future of work. This conversation is part of a larger project sponsored by NSF grant #1744356.

Conference | Lynschrift18, an Homage to UMass Linguist Lyn Frazier

Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 9:00am to Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 5:00pm
UMass Amherst | W245 South College
We are pleased to announce Lynschrift18, a conference in honor of the retirement of Professor Lyn Frazier from the UMass Department of Linguistics. Professor Frazier's work on language processing has profoundly affected the field of psycholinguistics, and this conference is an opportunity to present work that her contributions have helped to shape. The conference will feature two days of invited talks by many of her students, collaborators, and friends from around the world, as well as poster sessions and social events.

Lessons from a Powerful Partnership for Reproductive Justice | Loretta Ross and Rickie Solinger

The newly restored Old Chapel crackled with energy on the morning of November 30, as an over-capacity crowd gathered to hear activist Loretta Ross and public scholar Rickie Solinger reflect on their decades-long collaboration to advance the movement for reproductive justice. The duo offered a frank discussion – punctuated by humor and warmth – about their commitment to work through what might easily have become deep-seated barriers to solidarity between a white historian of the struggle and the Black organizer who founded SisterSong. For the scholar-activist team, authenticity, vulnerability, humbleness and the power to imagine alliances for social justice across racial, class, gender and even international boundaries are all vital to sustaining a productive alliance.

Tackling Academia's Crisis of Relevance and the Emergent Role of the Engaged Scholar

In his December 7 seminar on what he termed “Academia’s crisis of relevance” at the Institute for Social Science Research, Professor Andrew Hoffman (University of Michigan) promised to be provocative, in order to push scientists outside of their comfort zones, and scientific institutions into faster change. Hoffman, who earned his BA in chemical engineering from UMass Amherst and his PhD in management/civil & environmental engineering from MIT, quickly delivered on that promise, with a rapid-fire review of studies on the “abysmal state” of public perceptions of science.

Andrew Hoffman | The Academy's Emerging Crisis of Relevance and the Consequent Role of the Engaged Scholar

Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
E20 Machmer Hall | UMass Amherst
American universities are facing a crisis of relevance. While there are multiple reasons for this to be happening, one that deserves attention is the extent to which academic scholars do not see it as their role to engage in public and political discourse. Join Andrew Hoffman (University of Michigan) for a reexamination of how scholars must practice our craft, to what purpose, and to which audiences.

Big Data and Small City Governance: Whose Analysis? Whose Expertise?

On Friday, October 20, a crowded house of social scientists, computer scientists, and planners gathered in the new ISSR lab to discuss insights emerging from a National Science Foundation funded project on the social sciences and big data. Leading the dialogue were the project’s principal investigators, who have each been program directors at the National Science Foundation: Susan Sterett, Director of the School of Public Policy and Professor of Political Science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Kelly Joyce, Director of the Science, Technology & Society Center and Professor of Sociology at Drexel University.

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