Dr. Ruha Benjamin: Science as Story-Telling
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
From 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Science as Story-telling
Culturing Race, Power, and Biology in the Petri Dish
an ECHO AfterDark event
In this talk, Dr. Benjamin asks how the humanities and social sciences can contribute to our understanding of the life sciences. She considers how the sciences are a form of storytelling that incorporates metaphors which can help us see particular aspects of the world we inhabit. She draws upon her stem cell ethnographic work in California and her more recent work on South African and Indian genomic science. These empirical sites serve as a window into the larger process of how scientific objectivity is often racialized. Ultimately, Dr. Benjamin argues that until scientific initiatives take more deliberate consideration of social concerns, cutting-edge life sciences still risk excluding and exploiting many.
Dr. Ruha Benjamin’s teaching and research interests are in the areas of science, medicine and biotechnology; the construction and naturalization of racial and gender taxonomies; science policy, public health and social theory. She is currently completing a book, People’s Science: Bodies & Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier, which examines ethnoracial, gender, class, and disability politics as a constitutive feature of stem cell research. Dr. Benjamin is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American studies at Boston University and an American Council of Learned Societies fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Science, Technology and Society Program. She currently serves on the editorial board of New York University’s book series, “Biopolitics: Medicine, Technoscience, and Health in the Twenty-First Century.”
Open to the Public
Lite snacks and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided.
Sponsored by the University of Vermont’s Center for Cultural Pluralism
Co-sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences and College of Nursing & Health Sciences.
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