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Next Steps to Take

As part of #ShutdownSTEM strike, scientists last week stopped work to protest racism, but as New Scientist reports there are concrete changes that can be made in academia to combat racism.

The aim of the #ShutdownAcademia, #ShutdownSTEM, and #Strike4BlackLives strike last week was to highlight racism in academia, as Nature News reported then. New Scientist notes that while there were statements of support from academic publishers and research institutions, some say it's also time to address racism. "People are tired of seeing organizations that have released statements, but with no action plan in place," Ohio State University's Jasmine Roberts tells New Scientist.

New Scientist asked strike supporters what steps could be taken and were told that, for instance, Black academics could be invited to be on journals' editorial boards or to submit review articles. Additionally, New Scientist says research institutions and universities, in addition to increasing the representation of Black researchers, could examine their pasts and incorporate discussions of racism into their curricula. It notes that the University College London, for instance, says it will be reviewing the naming of buildings after proponents of eugenics like Francis Galton and Karl Pearson.