One fresh, sunny morning this spring, a dozen ex-convicts gathered around a table in a back room down a quiet side street of London. Considering the company, the scene was sedate. Someone with a manslaughter conviction stubbed out a cigarette. Onetime drug dealers snacked on croissants. A man with tattoos covering his substantial forearms shuffled reading material on a table. Someone who once served a prison sentence for embezzlement put a kettle on and offered the others tea.
No police officer would worry about this crowd: It was an academic congregation of so-called convict criminologists.
Over the past few decades, some ex-convicts have turned to academia, aiming to put their experience “inside” to good use. They use their knowledge of the criminal justice system to select research questions and design studies. They use their history to gain prisoners’ trust. And they work to counteract what they see as a strong bias in academic criminology toward the perspectives of authorities in the criminal justice system.
Read the rest of this feature in SAPIENS: [html] [pdf].
Pacific Standard also republished the feature: [html] [pdf].
Una plaga de mosca blanca cayó hace dos décadas en los campos de chilhuacle amarillo, rojo y púrpura de la familia Martínez. El chilhuacle es el chile estrella en varias versiones del plato insignia de Oaxaca –el mole, claro–, y por mucho tiempo los cocineros habían estado pagando altos precios por las notas ahumadas y cítricas de este chile. Pero su costo estaba a punto de subir todavía más. Continue reading
A plague of whiteflies descended on the Martínez family’s fields of yellow, red, and deep purple chilhuacle in southern Mexico two decades ago. Chilhuacle is the star chilli in several versions of Oaxaca’s signature dish – mole – and cooks had long paid a premium for the chilli’s unique smoke and citrus flavours. But its cost was about to climb higher.
Read the rest of this feature at Rethink Magazine: [html] [pdf] o léelo en español en Revista HojaSanta: [html] [pdf].
Rob Fredrick at American Scientist interviewed me for a podcast he made on one of the talks at the European Conference for Science Journalists in Copenhagen. I told him about my 2009 Nature story “Fake Facebook pages spin web of deceit” and we discussed the talk.
See also my story on the Copenhagen talk for IEEE Spectrum: https://lucaslaursen.com/how-bots-win-friends-and-influence-people.
Fredrick’s story and podcast here: https://www.americanscientist.org/blog/from-the-staff/computational-propaganda