These people are cuckoo birds:
Even more than other sciences, physics is a white male dominated field and, thus, a mirror of colonial patterns and social inequality. Despite this fact, physics is considered as “hard” and objective science, disconnected from social life and geopolitical history. This narrative both constitutes and reproduces inequality, which is reflected by the underrepresentation of women, racialized people, and Indigenous peoples in physics.Why light?
Light is ubiquitous in every language, society and culture. Light is the key element of common life defining familiar aspects like color and warmth. In physics, light is both regarded as primary carrier of information on nature (e.g. in astronomy) and exploited as primary probe for the fundamental properties of nature (e.g. in spectroscopy). Everybody knows light and every culture has knowledge about light. However, only the physical knowledge is regarded as scientific. We are interested in investigating how colonial scientific knowledge authority was and is still reproduced in the context of light.How to decolonize?
Decolonizing Light follows complementary approaches: We are engaging Indigenous ontologies and epistemologies for knowledge creation, we are studying colonial anchor points in the history of physics in the context of light, we are studying the views of scientists on colonialism, we’re investigating the discourse on contemporary largescale light experiments, we are training Indigenous and racialized students to do research in synchrotrons, and we are encouraging and training Indigenous and racialized students to follow research questions which are not defined by us but by themselves.