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# Racism within the Sciences ### *Resources for Acknowledging our Past, Understanding Current Practices, and Building Better Futures* #### **Introduction** There is a persistent expectation that the practice of Science can be neatly separated from broader society. As an example, consider the [outraged twitter comments]( on posts supporting STEM academics participating in Black Lives Matter [strikes]( and other [#shutdownSTEM initiatives]( Disapproval of scientists who publically express political or personal views is [not new]( Yet this expectation of scientific neutrality is at odds with the detailed accounts of the [contingencies of objective knowledge]( by historical and contemporary studies of scientific practices. This suggests that, in terms of the sciences as actually practiced, **neutrality is a myth**. A myth that obscures how default assumptions contribute to scientific knowledge, and reinforces the impacts of systemic biases within academia. Racism is one of the well-documented forms of systemic discrimination. This includes detailed historical records of how the sciences reflect, and reinforce, racism within broader society. There are also range of different examples of how the persistence of racism in academia presents a barrier to diverse social and material contexts that could bolster the intersubjective validity of scientific knowledges. On top of all of that, there are so many scientists who have publicly shared their personal experiences of racism, despite the backlash for doing so. Despite being well documented, racism is not often openly discussed in day-to-day practice. In addition, those of us not directly impacted tend to leave the work of dismantling systemic racism to those with personal experience of the associated disadvantages. For those seeking to change that, the lists below suggest readings relevant to different kinds of discussions about [structural racism]( in scientific research and medical practices. These lists seek to highlight some of the many topics that are relevant to discussions of racism in the sciences - from introductory resources for understanding the concept of race, studies on the impacts of racism in the sciences, and resources for decolonising our research practices and helping to dismantle systemic racism in our departments and institutions. This resource-list relies on work done by indigenous people and those within groups who have been marginalised due to skin-color and/or racial categorisation - please seek out their work directly (and seek out more)! Also, as part of the [resources for collaborations between philosophers and scientists](, assumed prior knowldege includes: 1. An awareness of resources available to learn about the history and ongoing impacts of [racism]( more generally. If you're not sure, please start with the General Resources section first. 2. An awareness of, if not an appreciation for, [contemporary philosophy of scientific practices scholarship]( Shared as a work-in-progress, these resource-lists are far from exhaustive, likely to be inadequately maintained, and inevitably limited by the situatedness of my perspective (particularly as a white academic, but also in other ways). Content suggestions welcome! #### **Discussing structural racism in the sciences?** 101: - Petrella, Christopher F. 2017. [‘Race, History, and the #ScienceMarch’]( Blog. Black Perspectives - African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) (blog). 2017. - Suman Seth 2018 [recorded interview ]( discussing Medicine, Race, and the Eighteenth-Century British Empire 102: - Prescod-Weinstein, Chanda. 2019. [‘Intersectionality as a Blueprint for Postcolonial Scientific Community Building’]( Medium. 19 February 2019. - Crenner, Christopher. 2014. [‘Race and Laboratory Norms: The Critical Insights of Julian Herman Lewis (1891–1989)’]( Isis 105 (3): 477–507. - Fullwiley, Duana. 2014. [‘The “Contemporary Synthesis”: When Politically Inclusive Genomic Science Relies on Biological Notions of Race’]( Isis 105 (4): 803–14. - Kenny, Michael G. 2004. [‘Racial Science in Social Context: John R. Baker on Eugenics, Race, and the Public Role of the Scientist’]( Isis 95 (3): 394–419. - Seth, Suman. 2018. Difference and Disease: Medicine, Race, and the Eighteenth-Century British Empire. Cambridge University Press. - [Structural Racism in Biomedicine - METASCIENCE Conference Session, 2021]( Speakers: Carole Lee, Aletha Maybank, and Kenneth Gibbs. - List of recent [Isis articles]( on the history of race and racism in science - Rusert, Britt. 2017. [Fugitive Science: Empiricism and Freedom in Early African American Culture]( America and the Long 19th Century 10. New York: NYU Press. - Khazanchi, R., et al., 2021. [Beyond Declarative Advocacy: Moving Organized Medicine And Policy Makers From Position Statements To Anti-Racist Praxis | Health Affairs]( #### **Discussing the uses of race as a scientific concept?** 101: - The Wireless Philosophy four-part series [“Racial Ontology: A Guide for the Perplexed]( - Mitchell, Sandra, Haixin Dang, and Edouard Machery. 2014. [Is Race Real? Instant HPS Videos]( University of Pittsburgh. - Oreskes, Naomi. 2019. ‘Example 3, Eugenics’. In [Why Trust Science?](, 88–104. Princeton University Press. 102: - Delgado, A. N., & Baedke, J. (2021). [Does the human microbiome tell us something about race?]( Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 8(1), 1–12. - Eberhardt, Jennifer L. 2005. [‘Imaging Race.’]( American Psychologist 60 (2): 181–90. - Gould, Stephen Jay. 1981. ‘American Polygeny and Crainometry before Darwin’. In The Mismeasure of Man, 30–72. Penguin Books. - Haraway, Donna. 1997. ‘Race. Universal Donors in a Vampire Culture’. In Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium. FemaleMan_Meets_OncoMouse: Feminism and Technoscience, 213–65. Routledge. - Saini, Angela. 2019. [Superior: The Return of Race Science]( Fourth Estate. - Sussman, Robert Wald. 2018. [The Myth of Race]( Harvard University Press. - Roberts, Steven O., Carmelle Bareket-Shavit, Forrest A. Dollins, Peter D. Goldie, and Elizabeth Mortenson. 2020. ‘Racial Inequality in Psychological Research: Trends of the Past and Recommendations for the Future’. Perspectives on Psychological Science, June, 1745691620927709. #### **Discussing the relationships between Indigenous Knowledges and Scientific Knowledges?** 101: - Natasha Mitchell, with guests Danial Hikuroa, Kura Paul-Burke, Craig Stevens, and Clare Wilkinson (2020, August 27). **[This river is a Person – Maori knowing meets Western science.](** ABC Radio National. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. - Harding, S. G. (2015) **'Do Micronesian Navigators Practice Science?'** In [Objectivity and diversity: Another logic of scientific research]( (pp. 80–104). The University of Chicago Press. - Helen Watson-Verran and David Turnbull (1995) **‘Science and Other Indigenous Knowledge Systems’**. In Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, edited by Sheila Jasanoff, Gerald Markle E, and James Peterson C. London and New Delhi: Sage Publications. 102: - Bielawski, Ellen. 1995. **‘Inuit Indigenous Knowledge and Science in the Arctic’**. In [Human Ecology and Climate Change: People and Resources in the Far North](, edited by David Lee Peterson, David Lawrence Peterson, and Darryll R. Johnson, 219–27. Taylor & Francis. - Duane W. Hamacher and Kirsten Banks. 2019. **[‘The Planets in Aboriginal Australia’](**. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Planetary Science. - Green, Lesley J. F. 2008. **['“Indigenous Knowledge” and “Science”: Reframing the Debate on Knowledge Diversity’](**. Archaeologies 4 (1): 144–63. - Onaga, Lisa with Kyle Powys Whyte, Mellisa Neslon, Binvente M. Diaz, and Leah Lui-Chivizhe (2020-2024 Working Group) **[Reclaiming Turtles All the Way Down (TAWD): Animal Cosmologies and Paths to Indigenous Sciences](** - Stevens, Craig L., Kura Paul-Burke (Ngāti AwaNgāti Whakahemo), and Peter Russell (Ngāpuhi). 2020. **[‘Pūtahitanga: The Intersection of Western Science and Mātauranga Māori in the Context of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Physical Oceanography’](**. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 0 (0): 1–15. - Wilkinson, Clare, Daniel C. H. Hikuroa, Angus H. Macfarlane, and Matthew W. Hughes. 2020. **[‘Mātauranga Māori in Geomorphology: Existing Frameworks, Case Studies, and Recommendations for Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge in Earth Science’](**. Earth Surface Dynamics 8 (3): 595–618. - Vunibola, Suliasi, and Matthew Scobie. 2022. [**‘Islands of Indigenous Innovation: Reclaiming and Reconceptualising Innovation within, against and beyond Colonial-Capitalism’**]( Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 0 (0): 1–14. Ongoing research: - [Research in Australian Indigenous Astronomy, 2021]( #### **Decolonising your research practices?** Topical Reading Lists: - [23 Research Things Indigenous Knowledge]( where Aurora Milroy provides guidance for researchers who want to begin their journey engaging with Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous knowledge holders (in Australia). - [What is Epistemic Decolonistation? – a reading list compiled for Transformational HPS Network by Veli Mitova and Alison Wylie]( - [Decolonizing Science Reading List compiled by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein](** Recorded Seminars & Readings: - [What is Epistemic Decolonisation]( - videos from a series of seminars organised by Zinhle Mncube, Azita Chellappoo, Katherine Furman, and Dominic Berry (2021) - Archibald, Jo-Ann, Jenny Lee-Morgan, and Jason De Santolo, eds. 2019. **[Decolonizing Research: Indigenous Storywork as Methodology](**. Zed Books. - Nathan “Mudyi” Sentance's [Archival Decolonist]( project providing prototypes for "Non-Indigenous author who references or applies First Nations knowledges, if an individual First Nations knowledge holder is named" - Woodward, E., Hill, R., Harkness, P. and R. Archer (Eds) 2020 **[Our Knowledge Our Way in caring for Country: Indigenous-led approaches to strengthening and sharing our knowledge for land and sea management. Best Practice Guidelines from Australian experiences](**. - Beatrice, Martini. 2017. **[‘Decolonizing Technology: A Reading List’](**. Beatrice Martini – Blog (blog). 10 May 2017. - Macfarlane, Angus, and Sonja Macfarlane. 2019. **[‘Listen to Culture: Māori Scholars’ Plea to Researchers’](**. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 49 (sup1): 48–57. - Pascoe, B 2014. **[Dark Emu Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident?](** Magabala Books. - Shay-Akil. 2016. **[‘We Need Decolonial Scientists’](**. Decolonize ALL The Things (blog). 10 November 2016. - Sahfir, Nir, ed. Ongoing Collaborative Document. **[‘Reading List on Modern and Colonial Science in the Middle East’](**. Unpublished. - [The translatE project]( which aims to "address language barriers in environmental sciences, with the aim of maximising scientific contribution to global biodiversity conservation." - The **[Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence Working Group]( 2020 [Position Paper](** #### **Dismantling systemic racism in academia**? - Asking for feedback and suggestions. For examples, see the online ['suggestion box']( to improve plans of action to address systemic racism in academia by the [Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS)]( and Layal Liverpool's [twitter thread]( asking Black scientists "what action scientists & scientific/academic institutions need to take in order to combat racism & anti-blackness in science" - Developing concrete recommendations for how our departments can create institutional change and dismantle systemic inequities & anti-Blackness - examples by students of the [Oxford Internet Institute](, the [MIT Black Student Union (BSU) and Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA)](, and the [MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE)]( - Challenging course content - an example, from Andrew Beitzel, of how to [decolonise a course with a pro-mission curriculum at a major university]( - Getting better at celebrating marginalised peers, examples include [shout-outs](, [call-ins](, and raising awareness of contributions in the history of [physics](, [chemistry](, the [geosciences](, and so on. - Seek out teaching resources developed by people who have been marginalised due to skin-color and/or racial categorisation. For examplse of resources aimed as school teachers, see: -- [Kooriculum™ Indigenous Science Program]( -- [IndigenousEDU]( -- [Indigenous Knowledge Resources for Australian School Curricula Project]( -- [Connection to country: teaching science from an Indigenous perspective]( #### **Looking for more general resources?** *Key Concepts & Resources* - [‘Still new to discussions about race?’]( - [Check your Privilege]( resources, by Myisha T - [Anti-Racism Every Day - A Guide for White Folks to Commit to Anti-Racism](, developed by Rebecca Grodner. - [The Racial Equity Tools Glossary]( - [Cautions on using BIPOC]( as a collective term for Black people, Indigenous peoples, and People of Color - [especially outside of North America]( - [Cite Black Women]( - Prescod-Weinstein, Chanda. 2019. [‘A U.S./Canadian Race & Racism Reading List’]( Medium. 10 January 2019. - Crenshaw, Kimberlé. 2016. [The Urgency of Intersectionality]( TEDWomen2016. - Roberts, Dorothy. 2015. [The Problem with Race-Based Medicine]( - Thurston, Baratunde. 2019. [How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time]( Ted2019 - Prescod-Weinstein, Chanda. 2020. [‘The Rules of the Diversity and Inclusion Racket’]( The Riveter (blog). 1 June 2020. - [Intersectionality Matters!]( Podcast - New York Times intro to [implicit racial bias]( - [Decolonizing Solidarity]( - a book, bookclub, and associated resources developed by Clare Land. - [The Algorithmic Equity Toolkit (AEKit)]( - created in collaboration with the Critical Platform Studies Group, the Tech Fairness Coalition, and the ACLU of Washington. *Broader Context* - Bullen, Pauline E. 2012. ‘The Continued Relevance of Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom’. Journal of College Teaching & Learning (TLC) 9 (1): 21–26. - Eddio-Lodge, Reni. 2019. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race. Bloomsbury Publishing. - Eberhardt, Jennifer L. 2019. Biased. New York: Viking. - hooks, bell 1994. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. Routledge. - Karabel, Jerome. 2006. The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Reprint edition. Boston, Mass.: Mariner Books. - Moreton-Robinson, Aileen. 2015. The White Possessive: Property,Power, and Indigenous Sovereignty. U of Minnesota Press. - Morris-Reich, Amos. 2016. Race and Photography. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. - Thiago Arzua's [twitter thread]( on how neuroscience has been used to justify racism, Jun 10, 2020 - [Alina Sajed 2020 From the Third World to the Global South]( - [Smash the Box! Episode of Cosmic Vertigo with Karlie Noon, Corey Tutt, and Lisa Harvey-Smith]( on "How to fall -- and stay -- in love with STEMM ... in spite of the many barriers you might meet along the way." --- [CC BY-NC-SA]( Created as part of the [Resource Development for Interdisciplinary Studies of Scientific Practices Project]( on unceded lands of the [Wurundjeri people](
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