(Un)certain Boundaries: Visualizing the intersections of science & society

26 Apr 2013
11:00 am - 6:00 pm

470 Stephens Hall

Event Type

Attendance is free and open to the public.

Lunch will be provided.

470 Stephens is ADA accessible.*

The Spring 2013 Symposium invites undergraduates to bring together perspectives and practices too often kept apart. Students investigating varying aspects of ‘science and society’ will engage in traditional research presentations, mixed media exhibitions, and more. Work will come from a variety of academic disciplines, ranging from – for example – a paper on history of the lie detector test, a presentation about technology and performance art, a project surrounding the ethics of engineering, or a project about the politics of gender, race, and landscape in Appalachia. This symposium will bring together the social, the political, and the ‘scientific’ (medical, technological, and beyond), proposing that these disciplinary boundaries are not so easy to identify and distinguish in the first place.

The Spring 2013 Sciences and Society Symposium strives to open up lively debate around new forms of knowledge, boundary-drawing practices, and aesthetics in part by experimenting with the form that undergraduate research and presentations can take.

Our task in this symposium is to think critically about the world, the facts, and the things that surround us. In considering their histories, entanglements, and implications – and trying out new ways to engage them- we can imagine new futures and possibilities as well.

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We ask that all participants and guests refrain from smoking before the event, as well as from wearing strong fragrances, oils, etc., out of consideration for those with chemical sensitivities. Please feel free to contact us about disability accommodations.

Questions? Comments? Let us know.

Schedule of Events:

11:00 Opening remarks
Cori Hayden, Director, Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society
11:10 Reflections on the theme
Ian Brown, Alli Yates, and Natalie Oveyssi; CSTMS Undergraduate Group Representatives
11:20-12:05 Opening keynote lecture: “AR: Towards the Augmentation of a Brave New World”
 John Naccarato
12:05-12:35  Lunch
 12:35-1:20 Implosions (Informal Presentations)
All-terrain Vehicles and Geographies of Coalfield MasculinityAbstract
The specter of ‘white trash’ haunts Appalachian whiteness. Policy makers and local peoples alike have long prescribed a modernization discourse to the ‘problem’ of Appalachian poverty. In the last thirty years the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) became widely popular in the Appalachian coalfields, part of working class consumerism contingent on a male-dominated coal mining industry. This research examines ATVs as material and symbolic evidence of coalfield political economic, and cultural subjectivity, finding the device to enact two distinct, and conflicting, masculinities. The device is used to access the virtual commons, the coal, timber, and land company owned forested or surfaced mined hills. People (men mostly) collect forest products and hunt on these lands, enacting a masculine identities tied to using nature productively. A budding tourist industry has created a new territoriality in parts of the West Virginia coalfields, making private ATV trails, excluding non-ticketed or uninsured riders, relying on masculinities tied to wage-earning, consumption, and adventure sports. I argue that the new access regime is an enactment of modernization discourse, developing economies out of the open access forests and mined lands, striving to whiten the Appalachian coalfields. This enacted discourse helps explain why many coalfield residents support the coal industry. 
Gabriel Schwartzman, Geography, UC Berkeley bio
Gabe Schwartzman is a UC Berkeley Undergrad in Geography, with a focus on nature and subjectivities in the Appalachian coalfields. He has been involved in southern West Virginia coalfield activism since 2009, and conducted an oral history of a surface mine impacted community on a Human Rights Center Fellowship in 2012.
“ ‘Is the eating of eggs sexually stimulating?’: Sex Education at UC Berkeley and its implications” Abstract
Marriage education began at UC Berkeley in 1939 as a series of sex lectures, quickly evolving into one of the most popular courses on campus for the next two decades. Through the years, the focus shifted from purely sex to marriage as a whole. At the same time, the course evolved from one rooted in the “hard” sciences of medicine to one based in the “softer” science of sociology. Consistently, the professors used scientific terminology to address changing gender roles in the wake of World War II and used their role as an authoritative figure to provide counseling and guidance. In this way, science could be used to both justify and dictate human behavior, allowing the University to influence individual student behavior.Today, sexual education at UC Berkeley returns to its hard science roots through classes like IB 140 (Human Reproduction). The difference in the way this course addresses sexual differentiation and gender roles illustrates the significance of movements like women’s liberation and the gay rights movement on scientific curriculum. At the same time, the course allows for the professor’s personal opinions concerning gender binary and health recommendations. The comparison indicates the continuation of scientific instruction as a means to legitimize a faculty member’s advice and guidance.

 Katie Fleeman, History, UC Berkeleybio
Katie Fleeman is a fourth year History major finishing up her degree and figuring out the future. Her research interests tend to focus on UC Berkeley history, with a particular emphasis on the role of women in the twentieth century. She is currently writing her thesis on marriage education classes at UC Berkeley, which forms the basis for her presentation. In her spare time, Katie plays piccolo in the Cal Band and tutors in San Quentin. She is excited to be a part of this symposium and can’t wait to see what everyone has to offer!
“Exploring the World in a Microscope through Literature and Bioengineering” Abstract

Our implosion will investigate the symbolic, historical, and technological dimensions of a microscope through the lens of early 17th century literature and modern bioengineering research. Using the intersecting fields of English Literature and Bioengineering to view the microscope and its effects on perception, we will strive to explore the complex and transformative relationship between science and theology.

The microscope has both widened our perception of the world and enabled us to drastically increase mankind’s scientific and technological capabilities since it’s creation. This implosion will focus on revealing the social ramifications of this increase in perception through analyzing its impacts on public ideology and opinion both at the time of its creation and at present. By revealing the ways in which early 17th century political literature and modern cancer research transforms sociopolitical ideology (and vice versa) in their respective periods – the presentation will highlight the surprising ways in which science and ideology intersect.

Jessie Lau, English/Theater and Performance Studiesbio: Jessie Lau
Jessie Lau is a sophomore pursuing degrees in English and Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on international relations at the University of California, Berkeley. Highly interested in media and global affairs, she currently writes for Berkeley Political Review’s international section and works as an Events Committee Officer for the International Students Association at Berkeley. Originally from Hong Kong, Jessie is also passionate about travel and the performing arts.
, Adrian Tabula, Bioengineering, UC Berkeleybio: Adrian Tabula
Adrian Tabula is a third-year Bioengineering major at UC Berkeley with research interests in cellular signaling, stem cells, and cancer biology. Currently, Adrian works in Dr. Dan Fletcher’s lab studying gene expression in response to mechanical forces. He has been involved in multiple research projects, and is a Design Team Manager for Engineering World Health. Aside from his work in academia, Adrian enjoys listening to Radio Lab, painting, and brewing traditional-style Chinese tea.
“Social Terms in Biomedical Applications: Bidil and it’s Implications” Abstract
Bidil, approved by the FDA for race-specific prescription, is marketed as a preventative heart-failure medicine for African Americans. In Bidil, one can observe the pharmaceutical industry’s endeavor to provide a niche-market (i.e. race-specific) product backed by promising scientific research. However, how the research statistics are employed/manipulated in favor of the pharmaceutical company’s motives must be examined.Viewing Bidil’s societal implications, it is entirely based on American structural understandings of race. Bidil creators take a socially constructed term, African American, and apply the term in a biomedical context, assuming a correlation between two separate realms: the social and genetics. It is impossible to define African Americans genetically, yet Bidil claims to transcend this implicit gap between genetics and the social (i.e. the fundamental distinction, nature and nurture), a dangerous assumption. Further, the studies that support Bidil fail to take into account variables outside of race (e.g. diet, environment, socioeconomic locale). Even worse, there is no explanation as to why the medicine was more effective in African Americans. Bidil assumes a connection between race and genetics where no such connection exists. Race is social, medicine is biological: the distinction must be recognized.
Matthew Kurkjian, Philosophy/Sociology, UC Santa Cruzbio
I study Philosophy and Sociology at UCSC, with a deep interest in how the two disciplines intersect in analyses of science, community, and technology. I am fascinated in the transformation of society with inventions like the internet and advanced medicine. One could say my broad point of focus is how the quickening pace of ‘progress’, in our day and age, is affecting how we view what it is to be human.
1:22-1:35 “The Heart Transplant Process: A Narrative” Abstract
The science of organ transplant is undoubtedly fascinating, but organ transplant isn’t simply taking an organ from one body and placing it in another. The transplant process is a multilayered system of interdependent parts encompassing an incredibly extensive infrastructure. It is laden with interlocking moral/scientific judgments through the evaluation of
individuals’ “good candidacy” and rightful placement on the transplant list. The transplant process both personalizes and depersonalizes. It is a journey that begins long before the organ exchange and continues long after. This presentation will implode the heart transplant process by examining the experiences of my family in November 2011, when my father
underwent a heart transplant at Stanford Medical Center. 

Natalie Oveyssi, Sociology, UC Berkeley, CSTMS Undergraduate Group bio
 Natalie Oveyssi is a sophomore Sociology major and Conservation and Resource Studies minor at UC Berkeley. She is a member of the UC Berkeley Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society Undergraduate Group and is the Managing Editor of the Berkeley Undergraduate Journal. She is interested in social policy, bioethics, the sociology of science, and science and the law. When not reading copiously for school, she enjoys reading copiously for fun but unfortunately does infinitely more of the former than the latter.
Mixed media presentations
1:38-1:50 Audiovisual Representation: The Effects and Experience of Sleep  Abstract
Sleep paralysis is a relatively harmless phenomenon that occurs to approximately 6% of people upon falling asleep or awakening, due to consciousness being present for several seconds or minutes while REM produces a typical complete muscle atonia to prevent people from acting out their dreams. It is associated with visual and auditory hallucinations, out of body experiences, and terrifying visions of intruders to which one cannot react. Scientists and sociologists have speculated on connections between this phenomenon and reports of alien abduction, ghostly encounters, prophetic visions, and various supernatural and folk beliefs around the world. Certain commonalities in the experience draw a distinct difference between this phenomenon and nightmares, the latter being the most common, yet incorrect, explanation. My video that attempts to visually depict the experience of sleep paralysis as distinct from bad dreams, with the goal of seeing if anyone viewing the video recognizes this as a phenomenon they have experienced. This study intersects the fields of medicine, psychology, film and media, music, rhetoric, cultural cognition, comparative literature, mythology and folklore, neuroscience, and religious studies.

Alan Niku, Cognitive Science, UC Berkeley ”bio”

Formal presentations
1:55-2:10 “The Obduracy of Centralization in Renewable Energy: Sketching a SocioTechnological Frame”  AbstractRenewable energy systems have evolved rapidly in recent decades, taking on myriad forms, at a variety of scales. However, these systems have developed within the entrenched and obdurate larger technological system of centralized electric-power production, and have largely adopted this centralized character. The historical trajectory of the electric-power system has occurred through a socio-technological frame, which shapes interactions between and amongst the societal actors and artifacts of the power production and distribution system. This frame, comprised of technical, social, and political-economic factors, has led to the current trend towards centralized modes of production in renewable energy. This paper builds upon the work of social construction of technology (SCOT) theory in STS, presenting a novel adaptation of Bijker’s technological frames model (1997), incorporating these broader structural factors.  This framework is built up using the case of the renewable energy sector, examining the factors that have contributed to its current centralized form.
Patrick Donnelly-Shores, Conservation and Resource Studies/Political Economy, UC Berkeleybio
 Patrick Donnelly-Shores is a fourth year undergraduate at UC Berkeley, pursuing dual degrees in Conservation and Resource Studies (B.Sc.) and Political Economy (B.A.).  Prior to returning to college, Patrick spent almost a decade working for non-profits and the government, leading young people conducting environmental restoration projects and taking students on month-long backpacking courses.  His current research, informed by those years of living outdoors, examines the politics, policy, and implementation of renewable energy systems in the United States and abroad.  He blogs about renewable energy policy for the Berkeley Energy and Resource Collaborative (BERC), and for GreenTechMedia.com, the web’s leading energy blog.  His upcoming Haas Scholars-funded senior thesis project will comparatively examine large-scale solar energy policy and politics in Andalucía, Spain and the deserts of southern California.
2:10-2:25   “A Tuber With Many Names: Story-telling from Waorani Territory” Abstract
The central investigative question of this project is multiple and tubered just as the subject(s) of the presentation are tubers, meaning that the center-point of this presentation is a tuber that grows in the Americas. The presentation will address how “storytelling globalization” as a methodological practice in the academy could be a means towards symmetrical power relations between the “anthropologist” and her interlocutors (Blaser 2007) as well as a method for troubling creatively the nature-culture dualism (and other dualities) of Western thought. While grappling with the meta- questions around storytelling globalization and givng a working definition of what the presenter thinks this means, the presentation will give context to theory through stories from the presenter’s time in the Ecuadorian Amazon where she witnessed Waorani society in transition and is telling stories about this transition. The Waorani are a recognized ethnic group of Ecuador who live as trekkers, hunter-gathers and subsistence agriculturalists in the Amazon. Their society has undergone significant negotiation in the past sixty years as oil interest and missionaries colonize their ancestral territory.  This is a presentation that intersects the uncertain boundaries of Anthropology, Feminist Studies, Philosophy, Natural History and as well as touching upon issues of gender, privilege, power, and how and what gets to count as indigeneity. The centrality of the presentation is in Manioc esculenta also known as Tapioca, Manioc, and Yuca, or in Waorani society: Keme.
  Nadia Lucia Peralta, Independent Studies, UC Santa Cruzbio
Nadia is passionate about and committed to indigenous peoples movements for socionatural sovereignty. She has been deeply inspired by Diné (Navajo) resistance to Peabody coal mining in Arizona and to the Waorani (Amazon, Ecuador) resistance to oil extraction in their ancestral territories. She and her black and orange puppy-cat live with Ohlone Territory. She believes storytelling is a form of sorcery and this is why she loves ethnography.
2:25-2:40 “Stories from the Heart: Biosocial Narratives of Adults with Complex Congenital Heart Disease” Abstract
Due to new surgical techniques and advancements in medical technology within the past thirty years, babies born with complex congenital heart disease (CCHD) have been able to survive into adulthood in larger numbers than ever before (Warnes et al. 2001). Because this population is so new, there does not yet exist a formalized certification program for physicians who specialize in adult congenital cardiology, leaving adults with CCHD the most underserved cardiac subspecialty (Warnes et al. 2001; Warnes 2005). Thus, the effects of aging with CCHD have not been significantly studied medically or socio-culturally. Through personal interviews and content analysis, this study aims to get a better understanding of the lived experience of female adults who were born with complex congenital heart disease and how their CCHD has affected their careers, relationships and access to medical care. The results show that complicated barriers to access impact the lives of the women in my study the most; navigating unprecedented medical and social situations prove to be just as complex as the disease itself.
Kaitlin Kimmel, Interdisciplinary Studies, UC Berkeleybio
Katilin is in her fourth year at UC Berkeley where she studies Medical Anthropology and Disability Studies. As an interdisciplinary studies major with an area of concentration in Critical Medical and Disability Studies, her research interests include science, technology, medicalization, power, and the intersections of chronic illness, disability, death and medicine. Motivated primarily by her experiences of having had five open-heart surgeries and one brain surgery by the age of nineteen, she is interested in the research of others who are able to challenge the way knowledge is traditionally produced by insights and perspectives gained from their uncommon life histories. As a 2012 McNair and a 2013 Haas Scholar, she has been conducting ethnographic research on the lived experience of adults with complex congenital heart disease, the first generation of people to have survived into adulthood with this life-threatening chronic illness, since 2012 and plan to continue it this summer in preparation for her senior honors thesis.
2:40-2:55 “Death, choice, and moralities in American hospitals” Abstract
In the past century, life-sustaining technology has become regularly involved in patient care. After WWII, new technologies, like the mechanical ventilator, were increasingly developed and used to sustain human life. To quote Sharon Kaufman in her book, And a Time to Die, “more Americans die in hospitals than anywhere else,” and “one-quarter of all hospitalized patients are treated in intensive care or cardiac care units before they die.” My research, to be discussed in this paper, seeks to make clear that patients struggle with deciding if and how they should use the available medical technologies that are offered near the end of life. I argue that the proliferation of life-sustaining medical technologies has colored both lay and biomedical understandings of death – manufacturing a climate of moral ambiguity in discussions about choice, as a concept and as a process.
Michael Sadighian, Medical Anthropology, UC Berkeleybio
Michael Sadighian is an anthropology student at UC Berkeley, with specialized interest in medical anthropology. His research interests concern clinical interactions, epidemics, epistemologies, and the question of “progress.” Mr. Sadighian is currently working on his senior thesis, which examines how HIV challenged biomedical knowledge and practice in the 1980s. Down the line, Sadighian wishes to practice clinical care and to continue his research as a physician-scholar in medical anthropology.
2:55-3:10 “A Social Disability: A critical linguistic approach to the definition of autism” Abstract
Since its first description in 1943, autism has undergone continual shifts in definition, explanation, and categorization. I examine how the broader influences of human cognition and societal politics have affected both scientific and lay descriptions of autism, focusing on the rhetoric of “high-functioning” and “low- functioning” autism. I argue that functioning labels do not define a coherent category or spectrum, but rather shift in connotation and denotation based on contextual salience and political rhetoric. Cognitive linguistics outlines various factors behind the definitions certain words take on, including how exemplary members shape our understanding of a category and how categories interact with one another. However, there has been little in cognitive linguistics examining how sociopolitical factors may shape definitions. I introduce the lived experiences of autistic individuals and critical disability theorists to demonstrate not only how medical categories affect and are affected by sociocognitive factors, but how they are defined by such factors.
Ayden Parish, Linguistics/Queer Theory, UC Berkeleybio
Ayden Parish studies linguistics and queer theory at UC Berkeley, as well as outside strictly academic environments. They’re interested in psychiatric discourse and the categorization and medicalization of identities, particularly transgender and autistic identities, with a constant eye towards critical disability and gender theories.
3:10-3:25 “Making the breeding network: the development of maize genetic resources after 1970” Abstract
Since its first description in 1943, autism has undergone continual shifts in definition, explanation, and categorization. I examine how the broader influences of human cognition and societal politics have affected both scientific and lay descriptions of autism, focusing on the rhetoric of “high-functioning” and “low-functioning” autism. I argue that functioning labels do not define a coherent category or spectrum, but rather shift in connotation and denotation based on contextual salience and political rhetoric. Cognitive linguistics outlines various factors behind the definitions certain words take on, including how exemplary members shape our understanding of a category and how categories interact with one another. However, there has been little in cognitive linguistics examining how sociopolitical factors may shape definitions. I introduce the lived experiences of autistic individuals and critical disability theorists to demonstrate not only how medical categories affect and are affected by sociocognitive factors, but how they are defined by such factors.
Eric George, Conservation Resource Studies, UC Berkeleybio
For the past two years I have followed seed through social and agroevolutionary knottings alike. Maize breeding systems offer rich case studies that has been formative in my early growth as a seedsman and scholar. I am grateful for the political education and engagements made available to me by mentors and peers in northern California and Nicaragua. At present, I am farming on the northern slopes of the Siskiyou Crest, at the Oregon-California border. I am apprenticing with a diversified food, seed, and medicinals farmer in 2013 through the Rogue Farm Corps, a regional program to train the next generation of farmers.
 Mixed Media Presentation
3:30-3:42 “Searching for the “unenhanced body”: a performative (de)composition” Abstract

In 1960, Yvonne Rainer initiated a tradition of experimental postmodern dance by redefining the body as  “actual weight, mass, and unenhanced physicality”, and declared that the body “remained the enduring reality”. Though this exploration of weight, physicality, and density continues today in the work of many choreographers, I would argue that the precise and clean boundaries of the “unenhanced body” have become difficult to define. Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has increasingly become one of the principle sites of dance performance and publicity. This not only pushes one to consider the collision between the physicality of the body in space and its transcription into video, but also the particular presentational capacities of YouTube, wherein the viewer is inundated in advertisements, and images. YouTube becomes a site that muddles distinctions between kinds of movement, kinds of “presence”, and kinds of bodies. This short mixed media work is in an attempt to delve, physically and analytically, into the sites of collision, morphism, and cross-contamination that appear when the extra-linguistic exploration of the body as a pure and unquestionably separate entity is transcribed into a two-dimensional and purposefully legible sphere of production. In this short composition I ask: how does the transposition of experimental dance into YouTube as a venue affect the conceptual work of signifying and narrating the “unenhanced body” that is being done in choreography? 

Sara Linck- Frenz, Comparative Literature, UC Berkeleybio
Sara Linck-Frenz is a Comparative Literature student, but in her four years at UCB has successfully avoided settling down in any one department. Though she started out her time at Berkeley languishing in the eddies of language and its inscription on everyday life, she has become increasingly intrigued by the affect of the material, the physical, and the bodily on our perceptions of reality. She spends most of her time exploring the anatomical, political, and metaphysical corners of “the body”, occasionally distracted by bouts of baking, Irish country dancing, and debates about political participation in Venezuela.
3:45-4:00 Break
 Formal Presentations
4:00-4:15 “Engineering Posthumanity: Social, Economic, and Biological Implications of the Transhumanist Movement” Abstract
Transhumanism is a philosophical and scientific movement that seeks to utilize genetics and bioengineering to push humanity beyond its natural “weaknesses.” Limits of intellect, strength, aging, and even death itself are all qualities of the human being as we know it that Transhumanists view as public health concerns that must be overcome. Though the Transhumanist mission is implicit in much of modern biological research (as in finding cures for diseases to prolong average life spans), we argue that there is an ethical distinction between research which seeks to bring the disadvantaged to “species-normal” health levels and the “superhuman” or “posthuman” that Transhumanists aspire to create. Although smarter, stronger, or longer-lived homo sapiens seem objectively appealing, there are major implications for the impact on societies, economies, and eventually even our species that warrant consideration.We argue that there is philosophical evidence indicating that humanity ought to resist the urge to pursue the power of absolute control over the evolutionary path the species will take based on an idealized vision of the future. There is also evidence to suggest that an evolutionary divergence in the human population caused by uneven enhancement technology distribution would have a highly retroactive effect on progress and prospects for the egalitarian trajectory for global economic and social development. Finally, because unnaturally prolonged human life spans would cause a significant population bubble and press societies both to compete more vigorously for scarce resources and to grapple more expediently with the ecological limitations of consumption, the Transhumanist movement may actually prove to harm the development of human flourishing, regardless of how integrated they believe humanity may become with technology.
Benjamin Schaub, European Studies, Ryan Williams, Biology, UC Berkeley
4:15-4:30 “A New Eternal Flame: The Preservation of Identity Through Social Media”  Abstract
Facebook is a popular social networking website that allows people to create complete representations of themselves through online profiles.  Profiles capture a person’s image, his or her interests and the way that he or she relates to the people around them.  But how does a Facebook profile function when the person it represents is deceased?  This question can be answered using N. Katherine Hayles’ work How We Became Posthuman as well as David Mitchell’s novel Cloud Atlas.  Hayles’ work demonstrates how the relationship between humans and technology affects a person’s identity and the ways that technology, such as Facebook, can make the physical presence of a person secondary to the pattern of their existence.  A person’s pattern can be recorded by technology and preserved for as long as the technology lasts.  Cloud Atlas is a fiction that shows the ways that the preservation of this pattern is enough to preserve a person’s identity, even after s/he dies.  Remembrance becomes the act of observing someone existing in the medium of technology rather than an act of imagining him or her present. 
James Pierce, English, UC Davisbio
James Pierce is a senior at UC Davis.  He studies English with an emphasis in literary criticism. 
4:30-4:45 “Access Impediments to drinking water in California” Abstract
Currently there are communities across the state of California that do not receive potable water due to contamination in the water supply. In rural and urban parts of the state there are disadvantaged communities without funds to pay for projects intended to address the issue. This paper closely examines two communities in California that contain contaminants in their drinking water by investigating the type of pollutants, the measures being taken to address the contamination and the challenges to overcoming the issue. I present the environmental justice challenge of drinking water in California with the framework of the Human Right to Water Package that passed in 2011. Under this legislation, the Assembly Bill 983 provides 100% grant funding to severely disadvantaged communities. To diversify the investigation, I examined Alpaugh, a small rural community in the Central Valley with a history of natural occurring arsenic contamination, and Maywood, a densely populated urban region of Los Angeles with a legacy of industrial pollutants in the ground water. In certain communities funds are starting to be seen to finance the preliminary studies, which has historically been a significant hurdle for communities to implementing projects. However for many communities still one of the most striking impediments to the effectiveness of the legislation AB 983 is the awareness of its existence in the communities. While the legislation does eliminate certain hurdles to implementation, these communities still face the challenges of access to information, sustainable finances and finding long-term solutions.
Lindsay Dreizler, Conservation Resources Studies, UC Berkeleybio
Lindsay Dreizler is a fourth year undergraduate student at UC Berkeley pursuing a major in Conservation Resources Studies with an emphasis in Aquatic Resource Conservation and a minor in Forestry and Natural Resources. Her coursework covers the intersection of ecology, environmental justice and natural resource management. Lindsay has sought an enriching path for herself undertaking studying abroad in Santiago, Chile and extensive traveling in Latin America. She is currently completing the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program with the organization Nuestra Agua to contribute to a working literature review examining small-scale water provision models in Latin America. Shaped by these experiences, she aspires to work with communities in the fields of water and environmental justice.
4:45-5:00 “In Small Things Forgotten: The Value of Archaeological Micro-debris in Unraveling Dhiban’s Imperial Past” Abstract
This project explores the potential of the analysis of miniscule artifacts excavated from the archaeological sites worldwide to investigate the degree of cultural information lost when only examining larger artifacts. Specifically, this research uncovers the benefits of archaeological micro-debris, which are cultural and biological remains less than 4 mm in size, to provide new insights into people’s daily lives when compared against larger sized artifacts. Using a multi-disciplinary approach to construct comprehensive narratives on the past, this project uses the archaeological site of Dhiban, Jordan, dating to the complex Middle Islamic period (ca. 12 – 15th century CE), as a case study to compare these methods of analysis. My analysis reveals that smaller residue sizes often provide information distinct from larger residue sizes, especially in the ubiquity or presence of different materials. This high-resolution investigation of both large and small residues, as well as the use of collaborative investigative techniques, facilitates the identification of past quotidian cultural activities in this context and begins to construct a concrete narrative on greater social, political and economic trends, including the impact of state actions on local communities throughout this region.
Nicholas Ames, Anthropology-Archaeology, UC Berkeley
 Nicholas Ames is a senior undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley majoring in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology and minor in Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Civilizations. His current research focuses on the methodology employed in archaeological field practices, specifically the use of microdebris in artifact analysis and site interpretations. Nicholas is an intern archaeologist for Heritage Discoveries Inc., a CRM firm located in central California, as well as a student archaeologist for the Dhiban Excavation and Development Project (DEDP) working in Dhiban, Jordan. Any questions can be directed to nicholas.ames@berkeley.edu.
5:00-5:15 “Towards a Political Ecology of Breast Cancer Epigenetics”  Abstract
As incidences of human breast carcinoma increase as a function of industrial expansion, the field of epigenetics is predicted to become the next scientific breakthrough in the study of cancer etiology given its association with the environmental processes which influence phenotypic expression of disease. After a close engagement with the literature, this study argues that modern epigenetics cancer research may further marginalize the complex social, economic, and even environmental factors of the condition in favor of descriptions which situate the problem of cancer as one located exclusively in the molecular world. This presents a contradiction because the study of epigenetics focuses on hereditable changes independent of genetic mutation—that is, the biochemical alterations induced by ‘external’ stimuli like  poverty and exposure to synthetic chemicals such as pesticides. This conceptualization, as we shall see, reveals the inadequacy of most efforts to address the problem that is breast cancer. Political Ecology, because of its emphasis on political economy, environmental change and the politics of scientific thought and interpretation, may help broaden and ameliorate this inadequacy.
Alfonso Aranda, Geography, UC Davisbio
Aranda is a graduate school-bound senior from Dixon, CA working under the mentorship of UC Davis geographer, Dr. Diana K. Davis. His research interests include: political ecology, science/tech studies, history of Mexico, cancer social science, and environmental justice. Additionally, he has had the privilege of speaking on behalf of the farmworker community. A few things he is passionate about are reading/writing, friendship, work, and creating art.
5:15-6:00 “The Patient Is The Medium, A performative lecture by caraballo-farman on cancer, technology and art”



This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies • Department of Gender & Women's Studies • Townsend Center for the Humanities
Department of Gender & Women's Studies

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