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UK Royal Society of Chemistry Reports on Racism

A UK Royal Society of Chemistry report has found that racism is "pervasive" in the field, according to BBC News.

It adds that the report found that minority researchers were less likely to get funding or promotions and were paid less than their colleagues. In particular, the Missing Elements report found that the average UK Research and Innovation funding for a principal investigator from a minority ethnic background was £320,000 (US $420,600), 10 percent less than the average £355,000 ($466,600) awarded to white PIs.

The report additionally found that individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds were underrepresented in the upper levels of academia. While 7.6 percent of STEM first degree entrants and 7.1 percent of postgraduate entrants in STEM subject identified as Black, 1.7 percent of academic staff does. The Guardian notes that of 575 chemistry professors in the UK, only one is Black.

It adds that, following on from this report, the Royal Society is setting up a new £1.5 million unit to promote systemic change and diversity.

"People need to engage with the data and the lived experiences in this report and not assume that it is going to be somebody else's problem to deal with it," the University of Nottingham Robert Mokaya, the sole Black chemistry professor in the UK and Royal Society trustee, tells the Guardian. "Everybody within the chemistry community and science in general can make a contribution."

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