Equity and Justice
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Statement on Equity and Justice
Much of our research in Science & Technology Studies shows how concepts become institutionalized and come to be taken for granted. The language of “diversity and inclusion” has laid foundations for progressive movement in academia over the last few decades. But we also hear the voices of marginalized groups who tell us that an invitation to the table is only the first step in a longer trajectory toward building equity. The Cornell University Department of Science & Technology Studies has therefore adopted a foundation of equity and justice that involves (1) reorienting access to resources, (2) building networks of support around members of disenfranchised and structurally vulnerable groups, and (3) practicing humility by stepping back and listening to those we invite into our offices, lecture halls, conference rooms, and intellectual communities. Building on that foundation, the S&TS Department seeks to increase substantive diversity and accessibility by promoting race-, gender-, and class-consciousness in our course offerings, curricula, and pedagogy; research agenda; recruitment and hiring practices; and department culture. We seek to proactively affirm marginalized groups and serve as allies with them against various forms of bigotry and oppression.
Our department is a warm and inviting community. We work to lift each other up and celebrate each other’s successes. We welcome constructive critique, encouraging all to feel they can safely speak across power differentials and have their ideas and expertise respected.
In the coming months, we will elaborate on these principles, including adding specific forms of action.
The S&TS Department is housed in Cornell University’s Morrill Hall. Recent research has shown that Cornell University was the biggest beneficiary of the Morrill Act, which was based on the violent dispossession of lands from hundreds of Indigenous and tribal nations. The S&TS Department acknowledges this painful history, and has prepared a brief report documenting it. More information is also available from the Cornell University and Indigenous Dispossession Project.
STS and/as Antiracism Resource List
As one action in our Equity and Justice efforts, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and alumni of the department collectively created a resource list addressing “STS and/as Antiracism.” In reaction to racial disparities during the Covid-19 pandemic, the increasing infiltration of white supremacist ideas into mainstream American political discourse, and the historic protests against racism that arose in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, we asked ourselves what it would mean to envision STS as an anti-racist research and pedagogical praxis. This list is our contribution to these ongoing discussions: a repository of readings and other resources intended to aid ourselves and colleagues in more deeply engaging with the entanglement of technoscience, racial inequality, and anti-racism in our teaching and scholarship. Link to the Resource List (Google Documents)