Impossible to Simply Continue Along Previous Lines: Changing Life in Times of Crisis

New England Workshop on Science and Social Change
Location: Arlington (
Date: Tues 29th August 2017, 8.30am to 8.30pm

In this one-day workshop we will create spaces, interactions, and support that help us extend our projects of inquiry and engagement around "changing life in times of crisis." As indicated below, a wide range of projects might fit under this intentionally broad topic. Activities will, as they have at NewSSC workshops since 2004, build on what the particular group of participants contribute and employ a range of tools and processes for "connecting, probing, and reflecting" so as to support and learn from each others' inquiries. The intended outcomes include: a) products that reflect how our inquiries and plans develop during the day, as conveyed in work-in-progress presentations and then revised in response to feedback so as to be shared outside the workshop, b) experiences that motivate us to take our individual projects beyond their current scope or level of activity, and c) stock-taking towards developing the workshop format. This format, in brief, includes a series of activities together as a group with time spent in between to undertake independent research and converse as helpful for advancing our projects.

The workshop, as a space for reciprocal "scaffolding," can accommodate participants with diverse projects. "Changing life in times of crisis" would fit if you were exploring what direction to pursue in your work and life at this historical moment. It would fit if you were studying urban community gardens, the environmental and social impacts of fracking and renewables as alternative responses to energy demand and climate change, or the governance of CRISPr gene-editing technology. Or if you were engaging in some quite different project that addresses a change in science-in-society during current or impending crises.

Applications are sought from teachers, researchers, graduate students, and activists who are interested in facilitating discussion, reflection, avid learning, and clarifying one's identity and affinities in relation to the workshop topic. The workshop format may allow for a limited number of participants over the internet.

Registration is free, but costs of meals and refreshments will be shared by participants according to their means so bring $0-50 cash for when the hat gets passed around.

Applications via by July 31st. Participants will be asked to talk to the organizer or assistant before the workshop to explore ideas for developing projects making good use of the workshop format.

Wikipages for participants

Organizer: Peter J. Taylor, University of Massachusetts Boston, Science in a Changing World graduate track,, with assistance from elizaBeth Simpson.