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NESTED KNOWLEDGE

Race is a concept that transcends disciplines, a shadow that has touched everything from data collection to public health policies. Exposing, discussing, and amending practice and applying science is inherently a multidisciplinary process. Our collaboration is inspired by efforts across the academy to support and amplify the Black Lives Matter movement and seeks to engage young scholars in multidisciplinary pedagogy on matters of scientific truth, the construction of race, and current manifestations of institutional racism in STEM. Through the lenses of art, art history, the history of science, and science communication, this project explores the nested nature of race and scientific knowledge.

We wish to directly engage in a dialogue on the production, analysis, and public circulation of science related to race. What is the history of race and truth in science? Beyond individual bias or intent, what does institutionalized racism in science and its impacts look like? Answering these questions is fundamentally an interdisciplinary endeavor and opening up avenues for the humanities to contribute to growing conversations in STEM about race and racism is crucial. We will host a summer artist-in-residence experience for STEM undergraduate students to reflect on the history of science, the categorization of race, and how modern day science practices work within--and might respond to--social structures that are discriminatory and unjust. We will investigate scientific knowledge production in tandem with artisanal making, offer a model for future multidisciplinary partnerships, and mentor future multidisciplinary scholars.

Our approach focuses on

Reflection

We seek to bring life scientists, humanists, and social scientists together to reflect on how the practice of science works within social structures that are discriminatory and unjust.

Art

Art is the communication medium of choice for this project. Through both art history and art-making, we are supporting student art-making workshops to interrogate and communicate issues of race and scientific knowledge  broadly.

Narrative

We use first-person narratives to disentangle the nested nature of scientific knowledge.

Dialogue

Our workshops and student fellowships promote dialogue about institutionalized racism in science across disciplines.