DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY STUDIES STATEMENT OF ANTIRACIST COMMITMENTS AND SOLIDARITY


We address this statement to our students. We, the faculty and current graduate students of the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and all Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) movements to end racism on campus and in higher education. Institutional racism may occur through admissions, advising, classroom interaction, curriculum, hiring, policing, and extracurricular activities. We commit to continue educating ourselves and our students about the effects of racism within and beyond our institution through our research, teaching, writing, speaking, and community engagement.

Commitments in our teaching
As a department in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at a technical university, we provide critical education to students not only in our own majors but all other majors in our institution. We therefore commit to the following practices:

We commit to listening to the needs of our BIPOC students, and to translating those needs into constructive actions in our classrooms, ensuring that these students’ experiences, which we recognize to have been historically marginalized and silenced, are heard and validated.

We will teach the works of BIPOC researchers and artists in all courses, centering their work, amplifying its reach, and actively engaging in discussion.

We will strive to make our classrooms safe and inclusive spaces for our BIPOC students, staff, and faculty.

We have learned from student testimony that our classes have shaped how students think about their own futures. We commit to provide ways forward for our students to build more just and equitable worlds in each of our three majors:

  • In Design, Innovation, and Society: we will center decolonizing and designing justice, using critical race theory as foundational to this work.
  • In Sustainability Studies: we will center analysis of environmental racism and environmental justice.
  • In Science, Technology, and Society: we will center historical and critical understandings of racism in science, technology, and medicine, teaching and imagining anti-racist law and policy, as well as equity in science and engineering education.

Science and Technology Studies (STS) asks fundamental questions about the role of science and technology in social and environmental change, integrating insights from the humanities and social sciences into a coherent body of knowledge that provides a blueprint for changing the world.  

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The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Russell Sage Laboratory (SAGE) 4307, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180
(518) 276-2576

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