White supremacy is baked into science and academia, from racist language in textbooks to a culture that excludes Black scientists from innovating and advancing at the same pace as their colleagues. But rather than more milquetoast statements and diversity initiatives, researchers want action. Organizers are asking the scientific community to participate in a work stoppage on Wednesday, June 10 to bring attention to racism in the world of research.
Two groups of scientists, technologists, and diversity and inclusion specialists have come together to organize a shutdown and strike on June 10, with the hashtags #ShutDownAcademia, #ShutDownSTEM, and #Strike4BlackLives. They’re asking science professionals and academics to stop doing business as usual and to instead focus on long-term action: protesting, educating themselves on the issues that Black academics face, and drafting plans based on existing work done by Black leaders on how they’ll dismantle the racism entrenched in their respective fields. Hundreds of scientists, including Nobel Prize winners and high-profile groups, have signed a pledge to take part.