During a three-day “Think Tank” at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College, we brought together (1) professors who teach social justice science courses or who incorporate such topics into their general science courses, (2) scholars, scientists, public health and environmental leaders working at the intersection of science and social justice, and (3) stakeholders in academic institutions and scientific organizations who can speak to diversity in the STEM fields and to the changing landscape of science and society.
The goal of the Think-Tank was to explore three questions: (1) what are the educational and societal benefits of including social justice in science teaching at the undergraduate, graduate, and medical school levels? (2) What are specific strategies for integrating issues of social justice into scientific research and their implications? And (3) what conditions would advance these goals at the national level through institutional and disciplinary reform?
This Think Tank was a result of a year-long conversation between: Dr. Lisa Brock, Academic Director of the ACSJL, Dr. Regina Stevens-Truss, professor of Chemistry at Kalamazoo College, and Dr. Jonathan Beckwith, renowned geneticist at Harvard University Medical School, Dr. Eliza Reilly of SENCER & NCSCE (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities and National Center for Science and Civic Engagement) and Dr. Karen Winkfield, MD, PhD. Massachusetts General Hospital.
These conversations came about as a result of a three-year project between the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership and the Division of Medical Sciences at Harvard Medical School. Faculty and students from both institutions have launched a one of kind website entitled Science and Social Justice as part of Praxis Center, where teaching and research tools are now available. Our hope is to gain a wider audience and additional stakeholders in this web project as well.