As Professor Roberts argues in her latest book, Torn Apart, “the child welfare system is best understood as a ‘family policing system’ that collaborates with law enforcement and prisons to oppress Black communities. Child protection investigations ensnare a majority of Black children, putting their families under intense state surveillance and regulation.” The series will include presentations and panel discussions by scholars and activists who are engaged in efforts to abolish the family policing system.
How do scientists use racial categories to help mine data? How does race get reinforced and/or challenged through large data sets in biomedical, scientific and/or policy research? How are correlations, inferences, and predictions about health, behavior and race produced through research that focuses on "Big Data"? Through a series of colloquia, workshops, and projects, PRSS will dedicate this year to helping identify and examine the conceptualizations, uses and impacts of measuring and/or investigating race in large data sets.
In addition, PRSS will also host its first PRSS visiting scholar, Jay Kaufman Professor and Canada Research Chair in Health Disparities in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University. Professor Kaufman's interests include: social determinants of health, health disparities, methods for population research, causal inference, inequalities, and evaluation of interventions. As a PRSS Visiting Scholar, Professor Kaufman will lead a series of talks/meetings in Spring 2015 on the methods used and correlations made among race, health and "Big Data."
2013-2014 (PRSS Inaugural Year)
In our inaugural year, PRSS will be dedicated to outlining the larger challenges of contemporary uses of race in biomedical and scientific research. This year will include a series of colloquia focusing on issues such as: the historical significance of race in biomedical research and practices, the complexities in understanding and defining race, and the continued debates and issues concerning race and biological determinism. This year will be highlighted by a day-long symposium that will both address and extend upon the issues and challenges of race and science in the future.