The annual Race and Racism in the Sciences workshop is co-hosted by the NYU Department of Psychology, the Department of Biology, and the Center for Neural Science. It was first held in Spring 2021, and the information below documents that instance. For more up-to-date information on the series, please see here.
The Black Lives Matters movement has put a much-needed spotlight on the systemic racism against Black and Indigenous people across American institutions. The academic community has an obligation to fight racism on all fronts, not only by improving perceptions and representation of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color and addressing racist behavior in the workplace, but also by educating each other on the role of race and racism in the history of science. Science does not exist in a vacuum, but in a context of social and cultural forces, some of which have been oppressive, exploitative, and dehumanizing. Across history and continuing today, prominent and less prominent scientists have taken part in racist ideologies and practices in the name of science. For example, genetics and IQ research have both been deeply intertwined with eugenics, people of color have been taken advantage of in medical trials, and racial biases of machine learning algorithms are often dismissed. Our communities have to confront these dark parts of scientific history and current practice, and such reckoning should become a permanent part of the education that we offer our trainees.