Science, as organized and practiced today, is an endeavor that exhibits extreme bias. The makeup of the scientific workforce does not reflect the racial makeup of our society; black people are wildly underrepresented, with a particularly egregious underrepresentation of black women. This is unjust, both as a violation of equality of opportunity, and because science is missing out on the intelligence, creativity and perspective of a large segment of society. Moreover, scientific output often neglects black communities, both because the perspective of the scientific workforce derives from other (mostly white) communities, and because larger, systemic biases in the economy and society push funding and research in certain directions. Even worse, some science actively promotes racial divides.
As academics, we understand that many of the major advancements in science are based on the contributions of people of color. As activists we further understand that these same contributors are often denied the credits for and the benefits of these advancements due to the racism inherent in the scientific community and society at large. We further acknowledge that these systems have often exploited and caused a great deal of damage to communities of color. As residents of Boston and the surrounding area, we understand that these exploitative systems are represented locally in neighborhood segregation and enormous income gaps. As scientists, we understand that the only way to advance and confront the enormous crises facing the world, including the current pandemic, is through solidarity.
Therefore, the Boston Chapter of Science for the People would like to express their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and more generally protestors of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and all other victims of police terror and the devaluation and dehumanization of Black life. The impunity with which police have terrorized and brutalized black communities – for as long as the police have existed – is sickening. It must end. We call on our fellow academics, activists, scientists and Boston area residents to join the movement spreading across the country.
Here are some ways you can get involved:
- Take action as part of the #ShutDownSTEM/#ShutDownAcademia movement
- Sign the petition to defund the police on the BLM website
- Sign up to lend your skills to Data for Black Lives
Sign the cross-campus statement against State Terror and call for termination of university-police ties