Current Events

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
From One Drop to One Percent: The Impact of DNA Ancestry Tests on the Worldview of White Supremacists

Joan Donovan (UCLA)
Alumnae Lounge | 4:30pm
Sponsors: STS, Anthropology, Center for Study of Race and Democracy, and WGSS
Abstract: Advances in population genetics and the direct-to-consumer marketing of DNA ancestry tests are challenging how groups fashion and maintain their identities. Most commonly, researchers focus on how Native Americans and African Americans' identities are co-constructed through these new scientific narratives of history and human evolution. Until now though, few have looked at how white people use these tests to generate a sense of belonging to a group. As well, no one has taken on this controversial question: How do white supremacists understand and mobilize around this new genetic science?

Friday, March 17, 2017
STS Student Lunch Series: Intersections of Science and Public Policy

Crane Room, Paige Hall | 12pm
Hosted by CoSA, the Collective of STEM Activists
Sponsor: STS
Come join the Community of STEM Activists (CoSA) for lunch and learn about how public policy and science can intersect! Our guests this month are Professor and activist Moon Duchin, who uses math to advocate for voting rights, and Tufts alum Charlotte Harrison, who works in clinical research on psychedelic drugs. Lunch provided!

CoSA is a project to unite students in STEM who care about the influence of our fields on culture and society through conversation, education, and action.

Tuesday April 4, 2017
Beyond the Conservatism of Emoji

Luke Stark (Dartmouth College)
CHAT seminar room, 48 Professors Row | 4:30pm
Sponsors: STS, Anthropology, Film & Media Studies, and Sociology
Abstract: Emoticons, emoji, Facebook stickers, animated GIFs of adorable cats: we use them all to express our social and emotional selves daily, with barely a second thought. But what if these seemingly banal digital objects tell a global story of toil, loss, revolt, and world domination, one that’s still unfolding as you type? Rooted in the rise of the "smiley" face in the second half of the 20th century, the emoji as a cultural form emerged out of corporate strategies, copyright claims, and standards disputes. Seemingly trivial, file formats for emotional expression like emoji and animated GIFs represent the creative power of affective labor and the limits of a digital life in the thrall of market logic. In this talk, Luke Stark will explore the history of emoticons, emoji, and animated GIFs; how their uses have evolved as a microcosm of the history of social media; and how these formats represent emotional data of enormous interest to businesses in the digital economy. Plus he’ll unspool tales of duelling fonts, plucky GIF artists and an all-emoji version of the greatest American novel ever written - all while sticking (almost) to 140 characters or less.

Friday, April 21, 2017
STS Student Lunch Series

Crane Room, Paige Hall | 12:00pm
Hosted by CoSA, the Collective of STEM Activists
Sponsor: STS

Wednesday May 3, 2017
This Is Your Brain on Drugs: Psychedelics in Clinical Science and Literature

Nate Greenslit (Cloud Collective) and Charlotte Harrison (MAPS)
Chase Center, Carmichael Hall | 12:00pm
Sponsors: STS, English, Psychology

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