Researchers around the world are pausing work on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 to express support for ending racism in the scientific community and society as a whole, and to take time to reflect on ways to do so, as part of a campaign called #ShutDownSTEM.
The campaign, which also uses the hashtag #ShutDownAcademia, comes in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, an African American man, at the hands of police in Minneapolis, and subsequent protests in the U.S. and the world against police brutality and racism.
The #ShutDownSTEM website states, “In the wake of the most recent murders of Black people in the US, it is clear that white and other non-Black people have to step up and do the work to eradicate anti-Black racism. As members of the global academic and STEM communities, we have an enormous ethical obligation to stop doing ‘business as usual.’”
In an email to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health community, Dean Michelle Williams expressed support for #ShutDownSTEM and the opportunity to “take the time for self-reflection, reading, reaching out to one another, and engaging in constructive demonstration or other peaceful activities.” She added, “We can do better. We can learn from tragedy, heartbreak, oppression, and inertia and turn toward hope, equity, and social justice.”
Read a Science Magazine article about #ShutDownSTEM: Researchers around the world prepare to #ShutDownSTEM and ‘Strike For Black Lives’
Police killings can harm mental health of entire African American community (Harvard Chan School news)
Focus on structural racism essential for advancing health equity (Harvard Chan School news)
Racism is bad for your health (Harvard Chan School news)