What a year again. As I write these lines, the US is approaching the grim milestone of one million “official” COVID deaths; war has come to Eastern Europe and is perilously close to escalating further; and a brand new UN climate report predicts an “atlas of human suffering.” To face this world with open eyes and work relentlessly toward its betterment, we must be attentive, rigorous, and anticipatory. This is where the skills, expertise, and foresight of UC Berkeley’s social scientists are needed.
Today is Big Give, UC Berkeley’s annual day of giving. By making a donation to Social Science Matrix, you can join us in our efforts to know and understand the world of today, and imagine and bring about the world of tomorrow.
Your support helps launch Matrix Research Teams, groups of scholars from across disciplines that tackle important and unaddressed social science questions. Matrix provides space, structure, and funding to enable these interdisciplinary groups to connect around challenges that cannot be understood through a single lens.
Your gift also enhances Matrix’s role as a hub for lectures, thematic panels, book discussions, and other events that promote vibrant exchanges at the intersection of the social sciences and the public sphere. Over the past year, our Matrix on Point series has addressed topical questions such as America’s struggle for racial justice, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, policing in America, non-citizenship throughout the world, online misogyny, religion in the age of information, and the future of money. Our California Spotlight series has featured two events focused on the labor and economics of wildfires. And we partnered with Cal Performances and the Townsend Center for the Humanities to bring artists in conversation with the social sciences.
To accommodate this expanded intellectual mission — and to better serve you, our public — we thoroughly revamped our website. Here, you will find summaries, as well as audio and video recordings of our past events. You can browse the Social Sciences Book Gallery. And you can navigate easily to our Features, which showcase the work of social science graduate students, recent PhDs, and faculty members, through interviews, photo commentaries, and podcasts. Our recent features include a visual interview with recent graduate Laura Jakli on her research on right-wing advertising, a podcast on the history of science and socialism in Cuba with PhD candidate Clare Ibarra and recent graduate Naomi Schoenfeld, and a visual interview with PhD candidate Heba Alnajada on the history of Syrian refugee camps.
Now is the ideal time to join our efforts. Your donation today will play a vital role in helping Matrix continue to thrive as a catalyst for innovative research and essential public conversations.
Please click here to make a gift to Social Science Matrix for Big Give. We are immensely grateful for your generosity!
Marion Fourcade, Director, Social Science Matrix
Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley