A letter from our outgoing Managing Editor

Dear SftP Readers and Comrades,

In the past two years, Science for the People magazine’s relaunch has become a central part of our organizing and praxis. In serving as Managing Editor during this time, I’ve been honored to work with so many of you to bring radical critique, analysis, and storytelling to a new generation. 

This year, Volume 23 of SftP magazine continues to build on—and works to live up to—our legacy, and shows our commitment to fighting racism and injustice. Now in print and online, “Science Under Occupation” explores the ways science has been used against people and the planet, and the power of the people fighting back. “Fighting for a People’s Green New Deal” (coming later this summer) explores the knowledge, creativity, and political power necessary to address the climate crisis and environmental justice. At the end of this year, “Bio-Politics” will revisit topics from the original publication, like biological determinism, to present a liberatory, feminist, anti-racist vision of science. We’re exploring themes such as science and technology in surveillance, policing, and prisons for 2021, and welcome your ideas for future themes.

The struggles of oppressed communities, including Black communities, play a central role in the writing we publish. Science for the People magazine has a unique ability and responsibility to show up for people of color and stand against racism. Many of us see our colleagues called to action in this movement, and our pages must serve as a resource and platform to uplift the voices of Black people. As a publication dedicated to exploring radical visions of what science has been and can be, anti-racism and intersectionality are a part of our mission. There are a number of ways in which we’ve started to work towards these goals:

  • We have consciously recruited people of color to be on editorial collectives, to write for us, and to help shape the magazine as we have also pursued building relationships with organizations focused on this work. We’ve had mixed results, and will dedicate more energy in 2020 and beyond to further these recruitment efforts.
  • Since our relaunch issue, “The Return of Radical Science,” last summer, we’ve been collecting data from everyone who submits a pitch to the magazine. Later this year we’ll release that anonymized data to be transparent about who our magazine is reaching, who we’re publishing, and assess how we can be more inclusive.
  • We pay contributors, but to uplift Black and other marginalized voices we must pay our contributors more and find ways to pay other editorial labor, so that our editorial voices aren’t just those who can volunteer unpaid or poorly paid time. 
  • We’re working to develop additional channels for activists within SftP, and local communities outside of academia, to learn about the magazine and get involved as contributors or editors. We’re starting to expand SftP’s online publishing as a way of giving radical voices a platform to rapidly respond to current social issues outside the magazine schedule, and working to more diligently pursuing co-publishing and webinar co-sponsorship with organizations run by and supported by communities of color. 
  • While with each call for submissions we encourage people of color and those underrepresented in science to contribute to the magazine, we need to go beyond encouraging, and make a more concerted effort toward soliciting artwork, writing, and participation from those underrepresented groups. We’ll set up a group within the Publications Committee group to expand this outreach and work with the incoming Tech Officer to help us stay organized and transparent in this work.

Science for the People has work to do in standing to end racism, and that starts with our internal organizing. If you have ideas for ways that SftP magazine can be more inclusive and affirm that Black Lives Matter in our everyday operations and publishing, or if you’d like to be involved with any of these initiatives, please email magazine@scienceforthepeople.org. Or you can share your ideas via the magazine reader survey and the SftP POC Caucus’s anti-racism strategy survey. Everyone is also welcome to join the publications committee, which next meets in September—email us to learn more.

There are many organizations worthy of your money and time right now, but if you’re able to, please consider helping us continue publishing, paying contributors, and expanding our mission by becoming a Patreon supporter or getting a digital subscription to Science for the People.

Finally, on a more personal note, thank you to all of you who have supported, edited, shared, or subscribed to the relaunched SftP magazine. I’m grateful for the trust placed in me to keep the magazine running for the past two years, and excited to continue as an editorial adviser. Please join me in welcoming Camille Rullán, our new Managing Editor, and Bennett McIntosh, our new Publisher, who will work with our editorial collectives to grow our readership and publish many more stories of the liberatory power of science in the volumes to come.

In solidarity,

Emily Glaser