News and Events

Event Archives: 2016 - 2017

Spring 2017

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

Nate Greenslit (NYU/ Boston Conservatory) and Charlotte Harrison (MAPS Public Benefit Corporation)
Chase Center, Carmichael Hall | 12:00pm
Sponsors: STS, English, Psychology
Abstract: A moderated conversation about the medicalization of psychedelics with clinical researcher Charlotte Harrison and artist-anthropologist Nate Greenslit.

MDMA (also known as "Ecstasy") was used for decades to assist with psychotherapy before it was placed on Schedule I as an illegal drug in 1985. Harrison’s employer, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), is working to make MDMA a legal medicine to treat PTSD by 2021 by running strictly controlled clinical trials. They also hope to bring conversations about psychedelics into the mainstream and promote harm reduction as a response to drug use. Before psychedelics were criminalized, it was thought to be imperative that the psychiatric researcher have firsthand experience with them. In his work, Greenslit explores from an anthropological perspective the legacy of self-experimentation with psychedelics, within mainstream psychiatry and in American literature and culture.


Friday, April 21, 2017
STS Student Lunch Series

Crane Room, Paige Hall | 12:00pm
Hosted by CoSA, the Collective of STEM Activists
Sponsor: STS
Come eat lunch with the Collective of STEM Activists (CoSA) while we discuss the ways technology influences inequality, our hopes and expectations for tech, and avenues to use tech for social good. Joining us will be Assistant Professor of Anthropology Nick Seaver, who studies the interactions of culture and technology.

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, 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.

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?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
STS Majors Week Event: Black Mirror

Olin 011 | 6pm
Learn about the STS program at this episode screening and discussion of the British sci-fi anthology series "Black Mirror" hosted by professors Jess Keiser (English), Moon Duchin (Math), and Alisha Rankin (History). Food provided.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Life Changing Bacon: Transgression as Desire in Contemporary American Taste

CHAT seminar room, 48 Professors Row | 5:00pm
Speaker: Brad Weiss (The College of William and Mary)
Anthropologist Brad Weiss discusses his book "Real Pigs: Shifting Values in the Field of Local Pork" (2016, Duke University Press) about the politics of pigs and pork production in the North Carolina Piedmont
Sponsors: Anthropology, Environmental Studies, Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, STS

Friday, February 17, 2017
STS Student Lunch Series

Crane Room, Paige Hall | 12:00pm
This semester's STS student lunches are hosted by CoSA, the Collective of STEM Activistst
Are you curious about how society is shaped by science and technology? Come to CoSA’s first event to explore how technology affects our politics and culture. We hope to provide a welcoming space for people in STEM to critically look at the fields we work in. CoSA is a project to unite students through conversation, education, and action.
All are welcome! Lunch will be provided. Sponsors: STS, CoSA

Fall 2016

Tuesday, December 13, 2016
STS Student Lunch Series
Miner Hall, Room 221 | 12:00pm
Take a study break and join us for food and conversation.
Lunch will be provided.
All are welcome!
Sponsors: STS


Friday, November 18, 2016
STS Student Lunch Series: Data Tour
The DataLab, Tisch Library, Room 203 | 12:00pm
Join us for a tour of the new Tufts Data Lab with Josh Quan (Social Sciences Data Librarian) and Carolyn Talmadge (GIS Specialist). We'll explore resources for data-rich projects and coursework and answer your questions about the STS program and GIS
Sponsors: STS

Friday, September 30, 2016
The Social Role of Mathematical Proofs
206 Eaton Hall | 4:00pm
Reception to follow in Miner Hall
Speaker: Kenny Easwaran (Philosophy, Texas A&M)
Respondents: Jody Azzouni (Philosophy, Tufts) and Moon Duchin (Math, Tufts)
Abstract: Much of mathematics proceeds by means of proof, but what makes proofs different from other forms of verification or communication? What is the role of proofs in spreading mathematical knowledge? Does the success of a proof depend on trusting the author? What would it take to conclusively defeat a proof?
The talk is at 4pm in Eaton 206 and will be aimed at a level suitable to students without much background assumed in math or philosophy.
Sponsors: STS, Philosophy, Math