Matrix Research Teams

Matrix Research Teams are groups of scholars who gather regularly to explore or develop a novel question of significance in the social sciences. Successful research teams integrate participants from several social-science disciplines and diverse ranks (i.e. faculty and graduate students); address a compelling research question with real-world significance; and deploy or develop appropriate methodologies in creative ways. Matrix teams may address any social science research question, theoretical or empirical, drawing on any of the social sciences. Matrix is especially interested in original and emerging approaches that explore new theoretical and empirical questions, and that combine research at different scales and from different methodologies.

Research Team

The Asian City: New Models of City-Making

Driven by convergent and disparate forces of governance and capital markets, the contemporary Asian city represents a new model that differs from those in the Anglo-American or European planning traditions. Beyond a site of engagement with capitalism or postcolonialism, Asian cities are nodes of specific local, regional, and national articulations in the pursuit of globality. The […]

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Research Team

Psychology & Economics of Poverty

The Psychology and Economics of Poverty (PEP) Initiative represents a new research agenda exploring the cognitive and behavioral effects of poverty, by cultivating a tight-knit community of development economists, cognitive and social psychologists, and other scientists working on poverty reduction. The initiative will strengthen a nascent community of practice by: coordinating cross-disciplinary lab meetings and […]

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Research Team

Community Cooperation and the Police in Comparative Perspective

A fundamental role of the state is to provide security and order, and the police are the consummate street-level bureaucrat serving to provide these functions, but their success fundamentally relies on earning the trust and cooperation from citizens. We explore how positive relationships between citizens and the police are built. We examine existing work on […]

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Research Team

Water, Wealth, and Power in the U.S.

Water is being financed, priced, marketized, and governed under novel ownership regimes. These interventions have the potential to disrupt or entrench convergences between water, wealth, and power. While income is widely recognized as a determinant of water access, recent research also posits an inverse relationship between water, wealth and power: for instance, disproportionately high costs […]

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Research Team

Topology as Method: Surfaces for Social Science

Topology, often opposed to rigid geometry, is the study of the properties of spaces that are invariant under certain deformations. Space, as domain of social inquiry, knots together issues of human perception, affect and body, event, structure and agency, movement and circulation, and individuation and differentiation, and as such, necessitates interdisciplinary work. Rather than beginning […]

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Research Team

Science Denial: Media, Public Policy, Power, and Scientific Truth

Who has the power to speak publicly for science, set scientific agendas, and give shape to science policy? Why do some reject their positions? How does news coverage of science perpetuate the trend? This Matrix prospecting team will convene scholars from across the UC campus to critically examine the process of scientific consensus and contestation, […]

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Research Team

Pragmatics in Clinical Communication

In all language, there may be a gap between what is said and what is understood. In medical communication, these often-unnoticed misunderstandings have serious consequence for ethics or practice of clinical care. This team aims to create a multi- institutional collaboration specifically analyzing the multi-faceted use of the word “treatable” around oncology patients in intensive […]

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Research Team

Assembling Resilience: Expert Systems and Knowledge Infrastructures in Climate Change Governance

Resilience has become a central topic in discussions about how to respond to global climate change. This project examines the politics of resilience as an emerging terrain of government. Up to this point, social science discussions have been speculative, based largely on theoretical definitions of resilience. But with the recent implementation of a growing number […]

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Research Team

Toward a Political Economy of Computer Science: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

This progress team examines the politics implicit in the technical development of artificial intelligence. In particular, they will work toward a one-day workshop in spring 2020 that will include student presentations and faculty panels on the “political economy of AI development," outlining how the technical decisions made by system designers and AI theorists when endorsing […]

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Research Team

Interpreting Risk in the Age of Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Health Testing

Following the success of genetic ancestry testing, direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic health tests are on a rapid rise. 23andMe, Veritas, and Genos are just three of many companies ushering consumers to a new age of neoliberal healthcare management. These at-home tests promise accurate predictions of health problems, ranging from ‘lifestyle’ concerns such as how much one […]

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Research Team

Queer Ecologies / Feminist Biologies

How do scientists engage queer feminist methodologies to understand sex and gender in non-human animals? Animal research—including studies of sexual selection, mate choice, and social pairing—has long been used to make inferences about human biology, health, and sociality. Reciprocally, cultural norms infused with political, social, and economic assumptions also influence the ways in which scientists […]

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Research Team

Climate Economics

The field of economics plays a crucial role in the debate about appropriate policies intended to mitigate climate change. For example, the tools of economics can be used to measure and/or estimate impacts such as the costs of mitigation, the valuation of damages, the role of abatement in lowering damages, design of policy instruments (e.g. […]

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