158. Endangered justice: How technoscientific practices and knowledges are threatened by racism

Melissa Creary, University of Michigan, School of Public Health; Paige Nong, University of Minnesota;

To be endangered literally means to be threatened with danger. However, the term is most often used in reference to animal and plant species and, in this context, means more than just the threat of danger but signals the threat of extinction. In this way, when something is endangered its very existence is under threat and at risk of being extinguished. This open panel invites analyses of the ways in which data, technologies (digital or bio), policies and/or programs designed in the name of justice are also endangered by the dynamic, enduring, and adaptive operation of systemic and institutional racism. Using bounded justice (Creary, 2021) as a guide, we seek to explore both the critique and creative solutions of justice-oriented technoscientific practices and knowledges that have been historically and contemporarily hampered by varying modes of injustice, oppression, and racism in all its forms. How is justice understood, constructed, contested, and deployed, to what ends, and with what effects given the societal realities and persistence of inequity? What are the challenges of utilizing data and technology for health equity or justice? How might we dismantle digital racism embedded in technologies like AI? How might indigenous claims to community consent disrupt technoscientific practices and norms? How could afro-futuristic ways of being inform practices of justice? This panel seeks to engage inquiries that expose and disrupt the endangerment that justice-oriented programs and policies face through oppression, erasure, and racism.

Contact: mcreary@umich.edu, ptassie@umich.edu

Keywords: Genetics, Genomics, Biotechnology, Race/Black Studies and STS, Big Data, AI, and Machine Learning, justice, racism

Published: 04/07/2023