An Evening of Reflection and Dialogue: What is the Purpose of Science?

Saturday, March 7, 2015 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm
Herter 601

Four panelists will consider issues of science, class and power and a vision of how science can help us to realize a world of global peace and prosperity

About Science for the People:
 Science for the People (SftP) emerged from the antiwar culture of the United States in the 1970s and was active until 1989. Its members opposed racism, sexism, and classism in science and above all sought to mobilize people working in scientific fields to become active in agitating for science, technology, and medicine that would serve social needs rather than military and corporate interests.
 Today, there is a growing interest in revitalizing a Science for the People movement. A conference on SftP was hosted at UMass Amherst in April of 2014 and a new archival collection on Science for the People was established in the UMass Special Collections and University Archives. On March 7th, four activists will come to UMass to consult the Science for the People archives and present parts of a panel presentation on the history and future of Science for the People that will be offered in full at the Appalachian Studies Conference at Eastern Tennessee U.

About the presenters:
 Paul Malachi, recent graduate from Harvard School of Public Health living currently in Boston, MA, organizer of the current MIT/Harvard Science for the People group.
 Jonathan Latham, a plant virologist, geneticist and molecular biologist by training living in Ithaca, NY, writer for Independent Science News and other outlets.
 Charlie Welch, the director of TecsChange (Technology for Social Change) living in Boston, MA. TecsChange refurbishes computer equipment and helps get it to small organizations in the developing world. Previously he was the Boston area coordinator of TecNica which co-operated with the SftP's Science for Nicaragua Committee.
 Julie Geredien, an educator and social justice researcher living in Annapolis, MD, writer of educational curriculum related to social transformation, participatory action research, World Citizenship, and community building. She is a trained facilitator for Foundation for Community Encouragement.

The Panel discussion will cover:
 History of SftP and present day Qs and objects of study for the movement.
 Social critical theory and ideologies related to science.
 Harmonizing people's needs in Food, Agriculture, Land, and Health.
 Modes of action- activist scholarship, participatory research, community building, mentorship and more

We will reflect and dialogue together on questions related to thinking about this movement, including:
What is the role of the scientist in society?
 What is the importance of theory in science?

Who should attend?
People concerned with social and environmental justice, Interfaith perspectives on world peace, people curious about how science relates to questions in philosophy, history, world civilization, human morality, the arts, and political life, as well as all high school and college students, are invited and encouraged to attend this free event.