As an undergraduate studying planetary science and history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), I had always thought of my scientific and humanistic interests as disparate. As a sophomore, I participated in the pilot MIT and Slavery project, researching MIT's historical relationship to slavery and its legacies. This project illuminated for me some of the deeply entrenched ways science and technology are entangled in structures of oppression. I realized that not only could I combine my passions for science and history, but it is in fact imperative for my scientific field to wrestle with its own historical legacies. Although biomedical and anthropological pursuits are more visibly embedded in contexts such as colonialism and slavery at their surface, the physical sciences are equally grounded in these structures. At Cambridge, I plan to focus on the history of the late modern physical and earth sciences - their institutions, technologies, materials, and networks - against this background. I hope to build bridges between scientists and scholars of history of science and science and technology studies, and encourage my colleagues in planetary science to interrogate and situate their work in context.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2020 Planetary Science & Astronomy