2017
Description: 
The recently proposed budgets cuts by the Trump administration to US Environmental, Health and Energy departments will have significant impact on scientific research that is needed to save the declining health of people and the planet. However such attacks are typical of a political and economic establishment bound by the drive for profitability and lacking any pretense of democratic control over the scientific and technological priorities of global society. Recent actions such as the March for Science demonstrate a growing concern amongst scientists and those who recognize the important role science plays in society and a willingness to advocate for better science policy. However scientists on the left understand that we must join with radical forces in opposition to this political and capitalist structure if we want to transform science in a way that will truly benefit society. Science for the People is broadly oriented around two approaches. One is to work directly with social and political justice organizations to empower those movements with technical assistance while at the same time broadening the input into scientific work beyond traditional settings and sharpening a shared understanding of how science interacts with society. The other is to build an organization of scientists, educators, engineers and science enthusiasts who can act as a coherent body pushing for democratization of science, defense of science when it is attacked for political or economic gain, and criticism of science or technology that is harnessed for such gain. This panel will consist of a current member of the New York branch of Science for the People alongside four scientists from healthcare, environmental science, mathematics/statistics, and psychology who will briefly discuss aspects of the intersection between their fields and issues of social and political justice. The discussion will then be opened up to the audience with aim of building connections and developing ideas for how a radical science movement could work with the broader left. This panel is sponsored by Science for the People NYC, an organization of radical scientists that actively fought the misuse of science in the 70s and 80s, and is currently experiencing a resurgence in response to the attacks on science and society present today.