While I was working on the blog posts in the library I was sitting with one of my good friends, Jordan Raccah a sociology, psychology double major. I was telling her about this class and she told me that she was enrolled in a very similar class. The name of her class is Gender and Science and it’s a 200 level sociology class. The focus of the course is about the patriarchal science community and how white males perpetuate the knowledge that benefits them. They focus on the problem of breaking into the science community if you are a women or a minority. I think it speaks volumes that SUNY Geneseo, a relatively small school, would offer two courses in different disciplines that talk about injustices in the science world.
I remember on the first day of class Professor McCoy had us break into groups and try to come up with “cross-walks” between the title of our class. I remember having quite difficulty with it, as I mentioned in a previous blog post I was not aware of any of the injustices prior to learning about them in class. It was through Medical Apartheid and all the other pieces of literature that I began to unpack what the cross-walks in the syllabus were. My friend Jordan told me that for her class they read a book called The Double Helix by James D. Watson. The book is about the discovery of the double helix and it is told from the perspective of a male scientists apart of the research group. A member of this group was Rosalind Franklin, a women, who greatly contributed to the discovery of DNA. However, in the book her male counterpart, Watson, used very belittling language when speaking about her and Jordan said they spent a portion of the semester looking at how and why Rosalind was described in the novel as she was. We were able to have a very good conversation about the similarities between our two classes. We also agreed that it speaks volumes how much of an issue injustices in the science community are for there to be two courses on them offered at SUNY Geneseo. I also do not doubt that there are other classes in Geneseo that touch on ideas that our two courses cover. I think that SUNY Geneseo truly meets the portion of the mission statement that says “The entire college community works together to develop socially responsible citizens with skills and values important to the pursuit of an enriched life and success in the world.” by offering courses such as these. It is also even more valuable that the two courses are offered in different disciplinary fields. This allows for the same problem to be looked at through different lenses and expand the possibilities for solutions. I would be very intrigued to have both classes examine the same problem and then compare potential solutions.