Oregon State University; Oregon State University - Cascades; OSU-Cascades; Science Pub; Moral Terrain

Science Pub speaker Rob Figueroa's study sites include Mesa Verde National Park, where Ancestral Pueblo people made their home for 700 years.

Feb 26, 2021

Science activism and the role it plays in aiding communities vulnerable to environmental risks will be the topic of the Oregon State University - Cascades Science Pub on March 8.

The virtual event, a joint effort of Oregon State University in Corvallis and OSU-Cascades in Bend, will feature a talk by Robert Melchior Figueroa, an associate professor of environmental justice and philosophy at Oregon State’s School of History, Philosophy, and Religion His presentation is called “The Moral Terrains of Science Activism and Environmental Justice.”

Environmental justice addresses the intersection of social justice and the environmental conditions in which people live, work and play. The environmental justice movement, now the largest and continuously growing social movement in the world, continues to mobilize people of color, the poor and marginalized communities impacted by a wide-range of environmental issues directly impacting vulnerable communities. Since the 1980’s, the movement is recognized for its grassroots activism, 70% to 80% of which has been organized and led worldwide by blue-collar women who are predominantly women of color.

Figueroa has studied hundreds of environmental justice cases, and will discuss a range of examples that demonstrate how science activism and environmental justice connect. These include the Hull House reformers, who set up a settlement house in the late 1800s to aid recently arrived European immigrants; Love Canal activists, who mobilized environmental cleanup efforts in a community in Niagara Falls, New York in the 1970s; as well as international cases, and people fighting today to address inequities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The free Science Pub will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The event will be broadcast on YouTube Live. Registration is required and can be completed at: https://beav.es/J77.

Sponsors of Science Pub include the OSU Office of Research, OSU-Cascades and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Connect Central Oregon, a collaborative program with the OSU-Cascades Innovation Co-Lab, will produce the event with student interns.

About OSU-Cascades: Oregon State University’s campus in Bend, Ore. features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon’s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Nearly 20 undergraduate majors, 35 minors and options, and three graduate programs include computer science, energy systems engineering, kinesiology, hospitality management, and tourism, recreation and adventure leadership. OSU-Cascades expanded to a four-year university in 2015; its new campus opened in 2016.