A Statement of Support from Science Says

In light of the recent attacks on the Asian-American community and increase in anti-Asian xenophobia throughout the pandemic, Science Says leadership feels it is necessary to reassert our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in STEM and science communication. 

As a nation, we have a long history of Anti-Asian racism: from the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 and the internment of Japanese-Americans in 1942, to the racist accusations of COVID-19 being the “China virus.” We must reexamine the effectiveness of our DEI legislation because these events continue to devastate entire communities.

As scientists, we may believe we are impartial in our hiring decisions, collaborations and research questions, but we must recognize that science has a history of systemic racism. Often, there is little action towards DEI, which can result in minority populations being excluded from clinical trials, blocked from accessing crucial data due to increased scrutiny and looked over for opportunities for career advancement. Changes to this end are happening, but not at an acceptable pace. We invite you to reflect on this, and examine your own choices on whether you are including diverse scientists out of respect instead of doing so to “check a box” in a DEI requirement.

As communicators, it is vital to amplify diverse voices. While there are slowly increasing numbers of minority scientists, only a select few are asked repeatedly to serve on DEI and other panels which puts undue time constraints on other aspects of their career, such as their mentorship and research. If we uplift a broader community of voices, we can more effectively spread awareness of DEI issues as well as provide visibility for diversity in science.

We must strive to be better allies to the Asian-American community. We encourage you to check on your colleagues and friends, and learn what you can do to best support them in their time of need. We also invite you to take the time to research this and other anti-racist action items on your own; it can be emotionally taxing for people of color to be the only source of education. The website stopaapihate.org has several action items including a form to report hate crime incidents and donation opportunities to local efforts.


Signed by the Science Says Leadership Team