ADQ: Analyzing how language upholds power structures in science

Asking Different Questions in yellow print on background of blue circles

Event Date

Virtual (Zoom)
An Asking Different Questions Workshop

The words we use are powerful as they are tools to uphold harmful power structures and legacies that are based in archaic racist and sexist ideologies –and science has been a leading justification tool. The scientific discipline of population genetics was born from eugenics as a way to justify the idea of “pure” races. There are lingering eugenics frameworks that persist throughout population genetics and these frameworks are upheld by the language that we use. In population genetics, as it applies to conservation of animals and plants, the language of eugenics permeates scientific discord, words like “pure”, “alien”, “invasive” etc are commonly used in the literature without consideration of the larger historical and contemporary implications. 

Led by graduate student Alana Luzzio, workshop participants will write a short intersectional opinion piece that looks at the field of population genetics through a feminist theory lens, specifically interrogating the accepted language with which we approach conservation genetics. The structure will be a literature discussion with folks signing up for different weeks to lead discussion on their chosen readings and will culminate in a synthesis of the discussion in the form of a publishable article submitted to an agreed-upon journal. 

Meeting Time:  Fridays from 11am to 12 noon, from February 11 to March 11, 2022

Zoom Link

Below are a few examples of publications to consider: