Letter from the Editors


Letter from the Editors

Volume 22, number 1, The Return of Radical Science

We launched the online edition of Science for the People magazine on May Day, 2019, to celebrate the generations of workers and activists who’ve helped make the world a more just place. Our theme for this issue, “The Return of Radical Science,” speaks to the resurgence of movements around the world fighting for environmental, racial, and gender justice and for a science and technology that serves communities, not corporations. After a thirty-year hiatus in publishing, Science for the People is back to join in the fight for a better world!

More than one hundred people responded to our call for proposals. We were inspired and motivated by the grassroots radical activity documented in the proposals and the many incisive analyses by people concerned about science, technology, and the environment. We are especially heartened by the diversity and global reach of the contributions, which span a wide variety of movements in many regions of the world. We are excited to bring you these voices here and in future issues.

In this issue, you’ll find a wide range of articles, reviews, and calls to action, including:

  • Articles from Ingrid Elísabet Feeney and from the Center for Interdisciplinary Environmental Justice exposing how corporate interests threaten local communities in South America, and detailing the role that radical science plays in fighting back!
  • Co-founder of Science for the People herb fox’s tribute to his sister, artist Elizabeth Fox-Wolfe. And an analysis by an early member of SftP, Michael Harris, who revisits the 1990s to shed light on the “next generation” of the Science Wars, in which old battles are rekindled and the stakes grow higher than ever.
  • A film review of the revolutionary life of microbiologist Lynn Margulis, and two book reviews that explore of the necessity of social movements in science and visions for an ecologically-minded future.
  • Lessons from organizing tech workers in the 1960s and 1970s for the new wave of labor struggles in tech, by Christine Andrews and R.K. Upadhaya.
  • Zach Zill’s fiery call for a People’s Green New Deal, which serves as a call to action to scientists everywhere. As Zill notes, “the technical is political,” and STEM workers hold great potential to help further the struggle for a just and equitable  transformation of this country and the world.
  • A revisit to a fundamental question, challenging us to evaluate what we mean by “Radical Science.” Helen Zhao assesses prior conceptualizations of the term and argues that the radical science movement must take an active role in the process of transforming science.

We hope you enjoy these and other Science for the People articles, find them accessible and illuminating, and more importantly that you are inspired to join the struggle to build scientific practices that serve people and the planet.

We are especially grateful for all of those who volunteer their time, labor, and knowledge to make this magazine happen, and for those SftP members–of this generation and the original organization–who donated to our Kickstarter and Patreon campaigns to get this relaunch issue into print and ensure that we can pay our contributors.

The magazine will be published quarterly in print and online at magazine.scienceforthepeople.org. Our second issue (autumn 2019)  takes up the task of “Envisioning and Enacting the Science We Need.” Issue 3 will survey “Science Under Occupation,” how science is weaponized on one side and used for liberation on the other, in communities from Palestine to Puerto Rico. Every issue will feature reports documenting the grassroots organizing among scientists and activists in Science for the People chapters around the world. Check out our website to get involved with a local chapter or a working group.

We’re an organization built by and for our members, and the publication is a reflection of that. Do you have an idea for a theme for a future issue of the magazine, or do you want to join an editorial collective? Email us at magazine@scienceforthepeople.org to get involved.

In solidarity,

Editorial Collective,
Volume 22, Number 1