- From citizen social science to citizen bureaucraft: an ecology of social justice activism in SingaporeHaines, Monamie (SAGE Publications, 2024)This article theorizes citizen knowledge production from a non-Western, nonliberal locale by examining why social movement-oriented citizen science is not practiced in the soft authoritarian context of Singapore. While environmental injustice arguably does exist in the city-state, citizens and residents are nor responding by producing undone science. In fact, seldom does the environment, science, and technology figure as the object of activism, let alone social injustice claims. Drawing on interpretive documentary analysis of interviews, news reports and auto-ethnography, this article argues that science and technology are guarded by tacit “out-of-bound” markers—or OB markers that constitute the norms of acceptable criticism. These OB markers are socially maintained by, and coproduced alongside, the twinned practices of elitism and meritocracy in Singapore, where the academic elite constitute critical voices, and as such, must navigate their credibility and privilege with the state, thereby foreclosing more radical forms of activism. As a consequence, elite Singaporeans practice citizen social science in areas of the environment, race and migration. Further, I show their standards and practices of evidencing and scientific communication can be construed as ‘citizen bureaucraft,’ where they cite the state to hold a kintsugi mirror to injustices it perpetuates. This article describes an ecology of social justice activism centred on Singapore’s primarily Bangladeshi migrant construction workers during the pandemic to show how citizenship is coproduced with citizen knowledge production in more authoritarian contexts, and how the coercive state responds.
- Genetic Transsynaptic Techniques for Mapping Neural Circuits in DrosophilaNi, L. (Frontiers Media SA, 2021-10-04)A neural circuit is composed of a population of neurons that are interconnected by synapses and carry out a specific function when activated. It is the structural framework for all brain functions. Its impairments often cause diseases in the nervous system. To understand computations and functions in a brain circuit, it is of crucial importance to identify how neurons in this circuit are connected. Genetic transsynaptic techniques provide opportunities to efficiently answer this question. These techniques label synapses or across synapses to unbiasedly label synaptic partners. They allow for mapping neural circuits with high reproducibility and throughput, as well as provide genetic access to synaptically connected neurons that enables visualization and manipulation of these neurons simultaneously. This review focuses on three recently developed Drosophila genetic transsynaptic tools for detecting chemical synapses, highlights their advantages and potential pitfalls, and discusses the future development needs of these techniques.