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Race and gender in the scientific institution: Basic history and analysis.

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Benjamin Pingault.

Abstract—Picturing ‘The Scientist’ as an [a-political white male, in an ‘objective’ search for the ‘truth’] is deeply problematic. In this talk I begin to deconstruct this myth, briefly outlining the different aspects that have moulded science into the Institution we perceive today, as a way to start a wider conversation. I will briefly present the history of science as non-white or European in origin, and how it has been used throughout history as a tool for racist and sexist oppression. I will then talk about how this has led to the status of science today: in terms of demographics, exploitation of territory, warfare and marketisation. I will use the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge’s Physics Department, as a case study throughout. Lastly, I end by considering how we should re-imagine the concept of science and the scientist using concepts borrowed largely from the social sciences and intersectional feminism.

Note – This talk is a jointly organised by the Wolfson College Science Society and the Wolfson College Humanities Society.

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Science Society talks series.

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