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What Makes a Science for the People?

  • Mayday Bookstore 301 Cedar Ave S Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454 (map)

Science tests hypotheses about the world--and outer space beyond--using observable data. The method speaks nothing to the questions scientists should be asking, who might attempt to answer them, or for whom such work should be pursued.

That is, science is fundamentally a social practice. For one, it costs money. As in all labor-led activity, people in the field have to be paid. With many of the most pressing questions requiring apparatus that can record observations at scales people can't see, the equipment needed can be expensive.

With State funding for science in free fall, capitalists are paying for an increasing proportion of research produced. By that relationship, the sciences are being bent toward addressing questions that help capitalism socially reproduce itself at much of the world's expense. Inequality is increasing. The environment is being destroyed out from underneath us at an ever-increasing pace. Science, protecting its moneybags, is being used to justify these untenable trajectories.

It wasn't always that way. Peasants, slaves, the indigenous, and working people long pursued understanding about nature and its appropriation on terms to their own mutual advantage. In many places around the world, they still do. A growing number of professional scientists, squeezed out of capital-led science, are meanwhile turning to serving the needs of communities first.

Who is doing such work where? What makes a science for the people? Join Christy Dolph and Andrew Butts of the Twin Cities chapter of Science for the People, and Rob Wallace, author of the forthcoming Revolution Space: Adventures Outside Capitalist Science, for a spirited discussion.

Free and Open to the Public. Refreshments served.