Updated December 2020
Free Radicals creates workshops that engage communities on knowledge justice issues in fun and accessible ways. If you are interested in inviting Free Radicals to facilitate one of our existing workshops, or in collaborating on creating a new workshop, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
People’s History of Science
We created a People’s History of Science as a counter-narrative to everything that is normally said about science – about how science is neutral, how science is objective, how science is the ultimate truth. But Whose Knowledge are we talking about when we say Western science? And how did we get to the point of having only one science that is seen as legitimate – when diverse knowledge traditions around the world gave us countless discoveries and innovations.
This workshop explores the ‘cultural fingerprint’ of Western Science, unravels its history of imperialism, and reflects upon how that history impacts what types of people can access Western science today. Participants will connect how their encounters with Western Science are mediated by their identities as women, queer and trans people, people of color, and disabled peoples.
Research Justice 101
How do we practice a just science? We created Research Justice 101 because we wanted to move beyond critique of science and imagine a knowledge creation process that was grounded in our values of community empowerment, accountability, and justice.
This action-oriented workshop is designed for scientists who want to align their social justice values with their research practices. We present an introduction to feminist science theory as well as an alternative to the scientific method – the feminist inquiry of science adapted from Deboleena Roy’s Feminist Theory in Science. Participants will leave with frameworks and action items for how to adjust their research practice to incorporate a feminist science lens.
What happens when the lab moves in down the street? This presentation dives into sciencewashing – or science-driven gentrification. Participants will learn about the aggressive role research institutions have historically played in gentrifying neighborhoods and displacing communities. We take an in-depth approach to how industries such as biotech create economies and neighborhoods for an already-privileged professional class at the expense of the low-income communities of color they displace.
Diversity in STEM
STEM fields are notorious for being dominated by White and Asian men, with some fields such as physics having as few as 18% women PhDs and 2% Black PhDs. Many diversity efforts in STEM have focused on recruitment of women and people of color, without tackling many of the structural and cultural barriers that exclude people from participating.
This workshop is designed for professional and academic groups that are looking to address diversity inequities in their programs. Through collective brainstorming and analysis, participants generate proposals for how to dismantle barriers in their institution and create new pipelines accessible to diverse groups of people.
Radical Nerd Camp
Radical Nerd Camp: Reconstructing Science for a Liberatory Future is a daylong learning and building intensive. Our radical-nerd-camp-counselors facilitate a day of interactive workshops and activities that ask questions about objectivity, break down science’s relationship with colonialism, and explore alternative scientific frameworks. The day concludes with envisioning what organizing for a more just science could like, and brainstorming concrete plans of action.
Past event information can be found here.
Tech For What Good?
As programs, companies, and hackathons continue to proclaim themselves as creating “tech for good,” we ask – is tech for good /actually/ good? And how do we get around tech being presented as the only pathway to a good society, when we know that art, literature, and other social forms of care can be more effective at creating thriving communities? In this workshop, we explore together how to critically assess technology, destabilize the idea of technology as the default solution to society’s problems, and imagine social/nontechnical alternatives to technological fixes! No science or tech background necessary – this is a workshop for anyone who encounters capitalist tech every day (spoiler alert – all of us), not just those who are making it.
(Joint workshop with Stop LAPD Spying Coalition)
In an increasingly policed and surveilled world, algorithms have become critical sites of power, struggle and resistance. In Exposing Algorithmic Ecologies: Tools for Community Resistance we use the case study of PredPol, a predictive policing technology, to introduce an abolitionist framework for analyzing algorithms: the Algorithmic Ecology. The Algorithmic Ecology is a relational model that illustrates the algorithm’s hidden ideologies and impacts, as well as serving as a visual storytelling tool and a landscape analysis. In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn about the racial history of surveillance, hear stories of community resistance, and construct their own Algorithmic Ecologies. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding between the relationship between abolition and state technologies as well as organizing tools to bring back to their campaigns and communities.