The Archive

 
A list of all the posts on Freerads.org

  • The Problem With Our Problem With Alternative Facts - by Sophie Wang Can alternative facts be…good?
  • A Math Geek’s Case Against the Muslim Ban - When the Trump administration announced its executive order, the “Muslim ban” on January 27, banning the entry of 7 Muslim-majority countries into the US, I was flooded with memories of my 8th grade algebra teacher, Mr. Z.
  • Seeking Liberation Among The Stars - by Wil’ Prada Meet Izel, a homeless youth poet from Boyle Heights who builds a telescope and shares his fascination with the universe.
  • Hood Biologist Explains How to Decolonize All The Science - by Alexis Takahashi But first – what even is colonial science?
  • The Objectivity of My Affection Pt. 11: Whose Knowledge? - By Sophie Wang Why did “modern” science arise in Europe? And if other sciences were once so powerful, what happened to them?
  • Where can you build a Thirty Meter Telescope? - by Linus Kuo There’s more to it than light pollution and atmospheric conditions. What factors should be considered when choosing the location for one of the world’s strongest telescopes?
  • Who Does the March For Science March For? - by Alexis Takahashi And what kind of science do we want to fight for?
  • Best Free Rads Pieces to Ring In the New Year -   As we begin 2017 (and run as far away from 2016 as possible), we’ve compiled a list of highlights to celebrate our one-year anniversary. Enjoy!
  • Not All Movements Are Loud - by Taylin Im
  • The Future of Free Radicals in the United States of Trump - by Alexis Takahashi Where do we go from here?
  • Free Rads Plays - by Art Li, Kevin Wang, and Linus Kuo Introducing Free Rad Plays! A let’s play series where we play games with folks close to science to explore intersection of science and social justice and how games can be tools for social change. Come join us on our youtube channel to see episode one and for … Continue reading Free Rads Plays
  • Race is Not Biology, but Biology is Racialized - We think it’s confusing too. by Alexis Takahashi Many of our ideas about race are grounded in biological narratives of genetic difference. But what is the real relationship between race and biology?
  • The Objectivity of My Affection Pt. 10: Who Is Harmed? - By Sophie Wang Science isn’t all microwaves and corn – it also has the power to facilitate harm. So what are the ways that science harms? And what’s the one thing that those communities harmed most often have in common? Keep reading. PS – No kittens were harmed in the making of this comic.
  • ‘Nice Apples’ and Other Problematic Plant Language - by Sophie Duncan   How does the language of botany reflect its sexist and racist past?
  • Your Science History is Whitewashed - The history they didn’t teach you in school. As students of color in the American public school system, we learn about countless dead white European men (‘dwems’ as one of our history teachers called them), and about few, if any, historical figures that look like ourselves. The history of science and mathematics is no different. … Continue reading Your Science History is Whitewashed
  • The Objectivity of My Affection Pt. 9: Who Benefits? Industry Edition - By Sophie Wang Okay, so we’ve covered how the benefits of the products of science aren’t really equally distributed. But there’s one more part of science that we can’t forget about – the industry itself. Who benefits from the economics of scientific research?
  • Can GMOs Solve Hunger? GMO Science and Societal Safety Part 2 - by Art Li GMOs are highly contentious for their presumed unhealthiness and danger to humans. However, what impacts do GMOs have in non-biological ways? Is it possible for GMOs to address social issues like world hunger, or are they being exploited to preserve the agricultural industry machine?
  • Why are Men Violent? - Hint: It’s not testosterone. by Alexis Takahashi   Many people think of violence and aggression as natural, biological aspects of being a man. But science paints a different picture about the origins of male aggression.
  • Transformative Justice and Healing (part 3/3) - Featuring Kelly Park, Andy Su, and Jaden Fields How can the ideas of transformative justice be applied to the medical industrial complex (MIC) to bring healing to oppressed peoples? In the last two episodes, we discuss ways the MIC prioritizes profit over healing and actively harms people. This episode, we invite our friend Jaden Fields to … Continue reading Transformative Justice and Healing (part 3/3)
  • Growing Pains: A Look Into HGH Treatment and the Politics of Height - Hailey Roumimper Many parents bring their children to pediatric endocrinologists looking for human growth hormone (HGH) treatment for their short child. But is short stature really a disability that requires medical treatment? Which groups does HGH treatment elevate over others?
  • A People’s History of Outer Space - by Kelly Park With the release of the newest installment of the Star Trek franchise, we turn our gaze once again towards space, the final frontier. Outer space has played host to many opposing forces throughout our history, with different institutions claiming ownership at different times. How can these narratives help inform a more liberatory version … Continue reading A People’s History of Outer Space
  • The Objectivity of My Affection Pt. 8: Who Benefits? Pure Science Edition - By Sophie Wang The “pure” sciences – sciences that exist primarily to tell us more about the world we live in – can be easily seen as apolitical. But as you probably suspect by now, they’re definitely not! How are the benefits of discovery-based science unequally distributed? Read on to find out.
  • Western Pesticides Rush the New East’s Stage as the Iron Curtain Still Falls - By Sasha Karapetrova Although Western countries have banned the use of toxic pesticides within their own borders, they continue to profit from their sale in other countries. What are the consequences of environmental reform efforts that only guarantee health for a select few?
  • A New Way to Make Humans: GMO Babies and Gucci Kids - By Taylin Im Are designer babies the future of genetic modification technology? Some of the ways we use this technology can save countless lives by eliminating cancer and disease – but at what cost?
  • The Objectivity of My Affection Pt. 7: Who Benefits? - By Sophie Wang So far, we’ve talked about how “science” in the abstract is a totally not neutral thing. But what about the concrete results of science? Doesn’t everyone benefit equally from those? Well…not quite. Find out how and why in this next section of Science Under the Scope!
  • The Case Against Techno-Optimism - by Alexis Takahashi Technology is often cast as the solution to society’s woes, the ‘great equalizer’, the precursor to social progress. But does ‘techno-optimism’ hold up on closer examination?
  • The Words We Use - by Art Li Science language is simultaneously revered and loathed for its complexity and perceived inaccessibility. The language of social justice, on the other hand, is valued for its ability to put words to the personal and political. What can the two forms of language learn from one another, and what failures of communication  in … Continue reading The Words We Use
  • Science and Social Justice in Practice - One question that we have asked and frequently been asked is the following: “What are the ways that people actually use science and social justice together in practice?” Well, to begin to answer that question, we’ve put together a short list of the practical intersection of science and social justice, covering topics from DIY reproductive … Continue reading Science and Social Justice in Practice
  • Ableist Constructs of Mental Health (part 2/3) - Featuring Kelly Park, Andy Su, and Alexis Takahashi How does the medical industrial complex affect how we understand and care for our mental well-being? Last episode, we had an introduction to the medical industrial complex as a system that prioritizes profit over healing. This episode, we invite fellow Free Rad Alexis Takahashi to share how … Continue reading Ableist Constructs of Mental Health (part 2/3)
  • Memoirs of a Grant Writer: Uncovering the Military-Academic-Industrial Complex - Uncovering the Military-Academic-Industrial Complex by Alexis Takahashi What is the military-academic-industrial complex and how does it affect our science and our politics? Find out as we explore the inner workings of the Ivory Tower and its militarized past.
  • The Objectivity of My Affection Pt. 6: Historical Locatedness - By Sophie Wang Now that we’ve covered cultural and community locatedness, what about that tricky third one – historical locatedness?  How is our science affected by our historical context? And what does that have to do with objectivity?
  • Let’s Get Something Straight - By Taylin Im LGBT people shouldn’t be the only ones questioning their identities. Learn how the history of heterosexuality (and homosexuality) still influences fields like scientific research and medicine today and why it’s still causing problems.
  • Profit Over People: MIC 101 (part 1/3) - Featuring Kelly Park, Andy Su, and Albert Liu What is the medical industrial complex, and how does it control everything from medical training to patient care? In this first episode of our podcast series, we’ll explore the various ways “ethical medicine” is a misnomer as long as profit is prioritized over healing.
  • The Objectivity of My Affection Pt. 5: Where are we Digging? - The science that we do is determined by the questions that we ask. But what are the questions that we ask determined by?
  • SGUO and Free Radicals Presents: The Objectivity of My Affection - Last week, several of our members had the pleasure of collaborating with the UCLA Society and Genetics Undergraduate Organization (SGUO) on a discussion about objectivity. Here are some of the highlights from the event!
  • 7 Reasons Why We Love Science - Free Radicals is a space for exploring the relationship of science and social justice, and we end up spending a lot of time discussing our critiques of science and challenging the power we often give to it in our society. But at the same time that we struggle with the ways in which we would … Continue reading 7 Reasons Why We Love Science
  • GMO Science, Safety, and Societal stuff! Part 1 - by Art Li GMOs are highly contentious for their presumed unhealthiness and danger to humans, and also for their questionable role in sustaining large agri-businesses and the economic frameworks they uphold. What does science say about GMO tech, and how does it intersect with the role of GMOs on the global market?
  • The Objectivity of My Affection Pt. 4: We Have to Dig Deeper - How can more diverse representation in science make a better objectivity, which in turn makes a better science? The answer lies in the concept of strong objectivity. Just what is strong objectivity? Find out in this week’s section of Science Under the Scope!
  • What My Brother Taught Me About Science and Social Justice - By Alexis Takahashi Alexis thought neuroscience could find the cure for her brother’s mental illness. And then she found disability studies.
  • The Objectivity of My Affection Pt. 3: Who is Digging? - This week, we dive into the first big question that affects scientific objectivity: who’s represented in science? Or, in the context of our mine metaphor, who’s digging? Why is this important to objectivity? Read on to find out!
  • Why Birdwatchers Can’t Save the World - The Limits and Possibilities of Citizen Science by Alexis Takahashi Citizen science has exploded in popularity in the last decade, with birdwatchers taking the lead in showcasing the power of public participation in science. But which segments of the public are invited to participate and which are excluded? And how can we practice a citizen … Continue reading Why Birdwatchers Can’t Save the World
  • The Sad Story of How I Fell Out of Love with Science - Science is an intriguing field of study, but many are pushed out of the discipline for a variety of systematic and structural reasons. Specifically in higher education, established systems of teaching science can alienate students. How can science be redefined in a more honest, accountable, and engaging way?
  • The Objectivity of My Affection Pt. 2: Objective Boogaloo - Last time, we learned that objectivity helps us do some pretty cool stuff. This week: what are the dangers of objectivity?
  • Learning (In)Humanity - by Kelly Park Preaching empathy in medical school is profoundly ineffective when detached from lessons of social justice. If students can be trusted to dissect human bodies, they should be challenged to critically examine their relationships to structural inequality.
  • On Belief, Invalidation, and Social Justice - The pursuit of justice through “just” science requires a deeper look into its complicated history and relationship with religion. Should science be faith-based or should faith be scientifically founded? Or neither? Perhaps religion has more of an influence on science than we’d like to admit. We’ll be exploring some of the effects this exchange has on society and how science and faith can work together for social justice.
  • The Objectivity of My Affection Pt. 1 - In this week's comic: Objectivity is super important to science! So what IS objectivity, and why is it important? And what does it purport to do?
  • Science Under the Scope - In this new comic series, explore with us how science isn't always just what we're taught in school. This week: Why am I writing a comic series about science and social justice in the first place? Are they even connected?
  • FreeRads Podcast: Humbling Astronomy – The Politics Behind the Thirty Meter Telescope - Featuring Andy Su and Tracy Zhao The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) that has been proposed for construction on Mauna Kea has caused controversy and faced powerful resistance from Native Hawaiians as they hold the mountain to be sacred. The conflict is often framed as a struggle between Science vs. Religion. However, there is a larger … Continue reading FreeRads Podcast: Humbling Astronomy – The Politics Behind the Thirty Meter Telescope
  • MSG – Monosodium Glutamate or Mostly Socialized Garnish - by Art Li MSG sits at an intersection between scientific and political understandings of food. Learn more about MSG and its history of use, and how both science and social factors influence to foods we consume.
  • How Transphobia Gets Written Into Science and Medicine - Transphobia is written into our science and medicine and maintains a gender binary that denies lived experiences. Buried in the DSM-V's (the universal authority for psychiatric diagnoses in the US) diagnosis of 'Transvestic Fetishism' is a little known term called 'Autogynephilia', or "Sexually Aroused by Thought or Image of Self as Female". Learn more about how transphobia is perpetuated in science and medicine through inaccurate and dangerous medical terms and concepts such as autogynephilia.