From Astrophysics to the ACLU: Physics, Data, and Justice
Ms. Lauren Chambers
ACLU of Massachusetts
How do the ways in which we consider race, gender, and personhood inform the ways in which we understand the physical world? How can advocates use data and technology to support campaigns for social and political justice? In two parts, I'll share insights into the intersection of physics, data, and justice from the viewpoint of a sociopolitical advocate and ex-astronomer. First, I will present the findings from my undergraduate African American studies thesis, "A Different Kind of Dark Energy: Placing Race and Gender in Physics." This work critically analyzes the culture and theory of physics and astronomy, focusing specifically on the stakes and implications of patriarchal white supremacy on the content of physics knowledge. Secondly, I will share recent work by the Technology for Liberty Project at the ACLU of Massachusetts, where we promote synergy between new technology and civil rights and use quantitative analysis to inform citizens about the effects of legislation and political leadership. I’ll close with insights on discovering the field of Public Interest Technology after leaving a career in academic science.
All interested persons are invited to attend remotely—email email@example.com for information.