Color of Science is an emerging initiative where scientists of color and from indigenous communities talk about their experiences and struggles in science, and examine the role of color theory and its implications in science.

Color of Science: Engaging Critical Perspectives from Scientists of Color and the Indigenous, Funding awarded by the School of Science Diversity and Inclusivity Fund, Aalto University, 10/2/2021. Duration 10/2/2021 – 1/2/2022.

Color of Science: Rethinking Inclusion and Diversity, News article, Aalto University, 10.11.2021.

For the spring 2021 term, we begin with thematic dialogues around the “Color of Science”, inviting both prominent international researchers and accomplished local scientists of color and the indigenous to provide critical perspectives on their research and personal struggles. This initiative is co-organized by Talayeh Aledavood, Andrea Botero, Karin Fröhlich, Caterina Soldano and Nitin Sawhney.
>> Join the Color of Science Facebook Group to stay involved.

The monthly series – initially offered online – consists of lectures, panel discussions, and film screenings to spur provocative and engaging dialogues, while conducting follow-up workshops to engage participants in sharing and exchanging their own concerns, perspectives, and ideas that build on the thematic topics.

We invite all members of the Aalto community and the general public to join our events. While the series invites speakers of color and the indigenous, we expect the themes and concerns to be both timely and of interest to a wide range of participants within and outside Aalto University. All events will be live-streamed and recorded to make them accessible to audiences globally.

Our first event is Coded Bias: Unmasking the Abuses of Face Recognition Technologies in Society, a virtual film screening and panel discussion held at Aalto University on March 25, 2021.

Modern society sits at the intersection of two crucial questions: What does it mean when artificial intelligence increasingly governs our liberties? And what are the consequences for the people AI is biased against?  In the new documentary film Coded Bias, MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers that most facial-recognition software does not accurately identify darker-skinned faces and the faces of women, so she delves into an investigation of widespread bias in algorithms.  As it turns out, artificial intelligence is not neutral, and often women of color are leading the charge to ensure our civil rights are protected.  The Algorithmic Justice League, Black in AI and Data for Black Lives are creating a movement towards equitable and accountable AI with data justice.

Register at: https://webropol.com/ep/coded-bias

Prof. Nitin Sawhney leads a conversation with filmmaker Shalini Kantayya, to highlight the themes and issues emerging from the film, along with AI ethics experts Amber SinhaJenni Hakkarainen and Sid Rao.

The event will be held in conjunction with a week-long virtual screening of the film Coded Bias hosted by Aalto University from March 20-27, 2021. Please RSVP for this event and all registered attendees will receive online access to the virtual film screening.

This event is co-organized with the new Crisis Interrogatives initiative at Aalto University and held in conjunction with the course Critical AI and Data Justice in Society, offered in the Department of Computer Science in spring 2021.

News article about the Color of Science Initiative at Aalto, November 11, 2021: