Science for the People (SftP) is a radical community organization that first emerged in 1969 from the anti-war movement in the US. It aimed to develop a theory and practice of science both by and for the people, in opposition to a science directed by corporate greed and imperialism. In 2015, a new generation of scientists revitalized SftP with the support of many of its original members.
SftP Canada is building a network of radical scientists (and friends of science), both inside and outside of establishment institutions, who seek to learn and work in the anti-capitalist tradition, comprising feminist, anti-imperialist, and anti-racist class struggles. Our network enables us to share our scientific knowledge, make sense of our experiences collectively, develop anti-capitalist analyses, and put radical theory into practice. SftP Canada firmly believes in doing science for, by, and with the people, which means we are deeply committed to the extension and democratization of scientific theory and practice beyond the walls of traditional elitist institutions.
This Canadian chapter, formed in 2022, reflects the growing struggles that radical scientists from coast to coast are engaged in everyday. Radical scientists are everywhere, young and old, inside and outside of establishment institutions– but we need to organize to find one another.
If you are a radical scientist in Canada who understands that our present institutions serve to legitimize capitalist ideology and advance the material interests of the ruling class, you may feel isolated at your place of work– but you are not alone! If you are developing a scientific practice outside of an established institution and want to meet other like-minded scientists with whom to learn and struggle, we want to be friends (and comrades). Join us, and let’s get to know one another!
SftP Canada creates spaces for those with an interest in science to network and learn with one another as members of a broader community– we seek to both learn and discuss, and to organize and act.
Through our network, we organize study groups and contribute to both local and international struggles. We work together to better understand the insidious ideological assumptions that uphold our current system of social relations, and how they are legitimized by scientific theory. For those of us working in STEM vocationally, we seek to support one another in understanding and navigating our experiences in mainstream institutions. Our organizing starts with building relationships with one another– and it allows us to mobilize collectively against systems of oppression in Canada.
We are deeply committed to popular training and community-led science, and we are resolved to putting theory into practice. There’s plenty of work to be done both inside institutions and on the streets: supporting Indigenous land defenders from Grassy Narrows to Fairy Creek, opposing imperialist Canadian mining investments in the global south, and organizing engineers to refuse the building of new fighter jets. Even learning and popularizing knowledge about the plants, animals, and waterways in our local bioregions can be a radical act of resistance.
The international SftP organization publishes a flagship magazine that provides commentary and analysis on wide-ranging topics: everything from radical science as resistance in places like Palestine and the Philippines, to anti-imperialist frameworks for combatting the climate crisis. As a chapter of this international organization, we aim to contribute a Canadian perspective to the magazine and to put theory into practice in the Canadian context.
To get in touch, tell us a bit about yourself and indicate how you would best like to get involved. Whether you want to write for the publication, build local branches, get involved in direct actions, or just study and connect with other comrades, we want to meet you! And if you don’t know how you would like to participate, no worries! We will send you an invite to our next meeting all the same, where you can meet fellow members and learn more about our current and future work.
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