Ruha Benjamin, a 2008 doctoral graduate in sociology from UC Berkeley, specializes in the interdisciplinary study of science, medicine, and technology; race-ethnicity and gender; knowledge and power. Professor Benjamin received her BA in sociology and anthropology from Spelman College, MA and PhD in sociology from UC Berkeley, and completed postdoctoral fellowships at UCLA’s Institute for Society and Genetics and Harvard University’s Science, Technology, and Society Program. She has been awarded fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and Institute for Advanced Study. In 2017, she received the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton. In 2018, she founded the Ida B.Wells Just Data Lab, a space for activists, technologists and artists to reassess how data can be used for justice. She also serves on the Executive Committees for the Program in Global Health and Health Policy and Center for Digital Humanities at the University of Princeton.
Professor Benjamin is author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier (Stanford University Press 2013), Race After Technology Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (Polity 2019), and editor of Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life (Duke University Press 2019), as well as numerous articles and book chapters. In her book, Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code Benjamin expands upon her previous research and analysis by focusing on a range of ways in which social hierarchies, particularly racism, are embedded in the logical layer of internet-based technologies. At the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting in February 2021, Benjamin gave a keynote address: “Race to the Future? Reimagining the Default Settings of Technology and Society.”