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This is a page with resources for promoting anti-racism and supporting diversity and inclusion in STEM. If you're looking for information on anti-racism in general, please check out our Anti-Racism Research Subject Guide.
On this guide, there are five sections, each with a selection of resources and a link to a larger list: Articles & Web Resources, Books, Podcasts, Organizations, and Support at Northeastern. If you're not finding what you need, you can get help from your subject librarian.
You can also find subject specific guides for the following disciplines: Bioinformatics, Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Engineering, Environmental Science, Health Informatics, Health Sciences, Marine Science, and Physics.
The resources listed here are not comprehensive, and they inevitably reflect the biases of the various creators. They are intended to provide guidance to a wide variety of resources within STEM. This page is by no means exhaustive and will be continuously updated. Please reach out to us with your feedback and suggestions.
Articles & Web Resources
Below are a selection of articles and web resources related to anti-racism and supporting diversity in STEM. It is not meant to be comprehensive. For more research articles, try searching within the library's databases related to your discipline. You can also try some of the suggested databases on the Anti-Racism Guide.
Racism: Overcoming Science's Toxic Legacy
A special issue from Nature, published in October 2022.
10 simple rules for building an antiracist lab
An article written by Dr. V. Bala Chaudhary and Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe published in PLoS Computational Biology in October 2020.
A comprehensive list of resources for many audiences from #ShutDownSTEM, an initiative from a multi-identity, intersectional coalition of STEM professionals and academics taking action for Black lives.
A Progressive's Style Guide
This resource was created by Hanna Thomas and Anna Hirsch in 2016 and covers language in areas such as age, disability, environment and science, health, and more.
1000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America
A list published in Cell Mentor in December 2020. Two previous lists of 100 Inspiring Black Scientists in America were published by Dr. Antentor O. Hinton Jr. in Cell Mentor in February 2020
and June 2020
This is what a scientist looks like
Profiles on 12 scientists from Harvard who were a part of a project called I am a Scientist
. The I am a Scientist
project aims to bring the stories and science of real world researchers to classrooms. There is a resources
page with toolkits, downloadable materials, and more.
500 Queer Scientists
A visibility campaign for LGBTQ+ people and their allies working in STEM and STEM-supporting jobs. Working to ensure the next STEM generation has LGBTQ+ role models; help the current generation recognize they’re not alone; create opportunities for community connections and greater visibility within STEM. Their stories are searchable
Racial Equity Resources: How to Start the Conversation in your Community from Living Room Conversations
A series of resources to help facilitate conversations about race. The page includes conversation guides, educational resources, and recommended readings.
Racism in Medicine and Healthcare
A guide to anti-racist resources at UNLV and beyond to promote racial and ethnic equity in medicine and healthcare
Helping Black Chemists Blossom
In this issue (volume 98, issue 34) of Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN), the cover story and three other articles cover supporting Black chemists.
500 Women Scientists
The mission of 500 Women Scientists is to serve society by making science open, inclusive, and accessible and transform society by fighting racism, patriarchy, and oppressive societal norms. Gage
is a resource for journalists, educators, policy makers and others seeking the expertise of women and gender minorities STEMM professionals.
Through The Window And Into The Mirror: Narratives Of African American STEM Professionals
Through the Window and into the Mirror is a video conversation series about the experiences of African American STEM professionals today. Students will peer into the ‘windows’ of the speakers’ lives, learn from their lived experiences as STEM professionals, and find parts of their culture and lifestyle ‘mirrored’ in the speakers’ lessons of their youth and greatest challenges and accomplishments. Through the Window and into the Mirror aims to inform, inspire, and be a starting point for students as they take steps towards having careers in STEM.
The Matthew Matilda Effect in Science
Article illustrating historical and contemporary examples of women scientists who have been ignored or denied credit, in which the term 'The Matilda Effect' was coined to describe this trend. Named for the Matilda Joslyn Gage, "who in the late nineteenth century both experienced and articulated this phenomenon".
Below are a selection of podcast episodes, series, and seasons relevant to racism in STEM. This is not a comprehensive list. For more resources, please visit our Anti-Racism Research Subject Guide.
Institutes and Organizations at Northeastern
For other groups and support at Northeastern, please click here to view the Support page on our Anti-Racism Guide.
Institute of Health, Equity, and Social Justice (IHESJR)
Disparities in health and mental health arise and persist as the result of complex individual, societal, and global factors. IHESJR bring together faculty and students from across Northeastern University, along with external research partners, to tackle these complex challenges. IHESJR's teams draw upon a wide range of research methods and interventions, but share a common commitment to promoting health equity and social justice through high-impact, community engaged research.
Northeastern Resource and Cultural Centers:
Student Groups and Organizations:
Below are a selection of books relevant to racism in STEM. This is not a comprehensive list. For more books, search Scholar OneSearch or visit our Anti-Racism Research Subject Guide.
Creating a Culture of Accessibility in the Sciences by Creating a Culture of Accessibility in the Sciences provides insights and advice on integrating students with disabilities into the STEM fields. Each chapter features research and best practices that are interwoven with experiential narratives. The book is reflective of the diversity of STEM disciplines (life and physical sciences, engineering, and mathematics), and is also reflective of cross-disability perspectives (physical, sensory, learning, mental health, chronic medical and developmental disabilities). It is a useful resource for STEM faculty and university administrators working with students with disabilities, as well as STEM industry professionals interested in accommodating employees with disabilities. Offers a global perspective on making research or work spaces accessible for students with disabilities in the STEM fields Discusses best practices on accommodating and supporting students and demonstrates how these practices can be translated across disciplines Enhances faculty knowledge of inclusive teaching practices, adaptive equipment, accessibility features, and accommodations in science laboratories, which would enable the safe participation of students with disabilities Provides advice for students with disabilities on disclosure and mentoring
Publication Date: 2016
Weapons of Math Destruction by Longlisted for the National Book Award | New York Times Bestseller
A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern life and threaten to rip apart our social fabric. We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives--where we go to school, whether we get a car loan, how much we pay for health insurance--are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated. But as Cathy O'Neil reveals in this urgent and necessary book, the opposite is true. The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and uncontestable, even when they're wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination: If a poor student can't get a loan because a lending model deems him too risky (by virtue of his zip code), he's then cut off from the kind of education that could pull him out of poverty, and a vicious spiral ensues. Models are propping up the lucky and punishing the downtrodden, creating a "toxic cocktail for democracy." Welcome to the dark side of Big Data. Tracing the arc of a person's life, O'Neil exposes the black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. These "weapons of math destruction" score teachers and students, sort résumés, grant (or deny) loans, evaluate workers, target voters, set parole, and monitor our health. O'Neil calls on modelers to take more responsibility for their algorithms and on policy makers to regulate their use. But in the end, it's up to us to become more savvy about the models that govern our lives. This important book empowers us to ask the tough questions, uncover the truth, and demand change.
Publication Date: 2016
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine: The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, which are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb's effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Henrietta's family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family--past and present--is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family--especially Henrietta's daughter Deborah. Deborah was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Had they killed her to harvest her cells? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn't her children afford health insurance? Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
Publication Date: 2010
Algorithms of Oppression by A revealing look at how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results and algorithms Run a Google search for "black girls"--what will you find? "Big Booty" and other sexually explicit terms are likely to come up as top search terms. But, if you type in "white girls," the results are radically different. The suggested porn sites and un-moderated discussions about "why black women are so sassy" or "why black women are so angry" presents a disturbing portrait of black womanhood in modern society. In Algorithms of Oppression, Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities. Data discrimination is a real social problem; Noble argues that the combination of private interests in promoting certain sites, along with the monopoly status of a relatively small number of Internet search engines, leads to a biased set of search algorithms that privilege whiteness and discriminate against people of color, specifically women of color. Through an analysis of textual and media searches as well as extensive research on paid online advertising, Noble exposes a culture of racism and sexism in the way discoverability is created online. As search engines and their related companies grow in importance--operating as a source for email, a major vehicle for primary and secondary school learning, and beyond--understanding and reversing these disquieting trends and discriminatory practices is of utmost importance. An original, surprising and, at times, disturbing account of bias on the internet, Algorithms of Oppression contributes to our understanding of how racism is created, maintained, and disseminated in the 21st century.
Publication Date: 2018
Engineering Justice by Shows how the engineering curriculum can be a site for rendering social justice visible in engineering, for exploring complex socio-technical interplays inherent in engineering practice, and for enhancing teaching and learning Using social justice as a catalyst for curricular transformation, Engineering Justice presents an examination of how politics, culture, and other social issues are inherent in the practice of engineering. It aims to align engineering curricula with socially just outcomes, increase enrollment among underrepresented groups, and lessen lingering gender, class, and ethnicity gaps by showing how the power of engineering knowledge can be explicitly harnessed to serve the underserved and address social inequalities. This book is meant to transform the way educators think about engineering curricula through creating or transforming existing courses to attract, retain, and motivate engineering students to become professionals who enact engineering for social justice. Engineering Justice offers thought-provoking chapters on: why social justice is inherent yet often invisible in engineering education and practice; engineering design for social justice; social justice in the engineering sciences; social justice in humanities and social science courses for engineers; and transforming engineering education and practice. In addition, this book: Provides a transformative framework for engineering educators in service learning, professional communication, humanitarian engineering, community service, social entrepreneurship, and social responsibility Includes strategies that engineers on the job can use to advocate for social justice issues and explain their importance to employers, clients, and supervisors Discusses diversity in engineering educational contexts and how it affects the way students learn and develop Engineering Justice is an important book for today's professors, administrators, and curriculum specialists who seek to produce the best engineers of today and tomorrow.
Publication Date: 2017
Engineering and Social Justice by This book is aimed at engineering academics worldwide, who are attempting to bring social justice into their work and practice, or who would like to but don't know where to start. This is the first book dedicated specifically to University professionals on Engineering and Social Justice, an emerging and exciting area of research and practice. An international team of multidisciplinary authors share their insights and invite and inspire us to reformulate the way we work. Each chapter is based on research and yet presents the outcomes of scholarly studies in a user oriented style. We look at all three areas of an engineering academic's professional role: research, teaching and community engagement. Some of our team have created classes which help students think through their role as engineering practitioners in society. Others are focusing their research on outcomes that are socially just and for client groups who are marginalized and powerless. Yet others are consciously engaging local community groups and exploring ways in which the University might 'serve' communities at home and globally from a post-development perspective. We are additionally concerned with the student cohort and who has access to engineering studies. We take a broad social and ecological justice perspective to critique existing and explore alternative practices. This book is a handbook for any engineering academic, who wishes to develop engineering graduates as well as technologies and practices that are non-oppressive, equitable and engaged. It is also an essential reader for anyone studying in this interdisciplinary juncture of social science and engineering. Scholars using a critical theoretical lens on engineering practice and education, from Science and Technology Studies, History and Philosophy of Engineering, Engineering and Science Education will find this text invaluable.
Publication Date: 2012
Just Medicine by Over 84,000 black and brown lives are needlessly lost each year due to health disparities, the unfair, unjust, and avoidable differences between the quality and quantity of health care provided to Americans who are members of racial and ethnic minorities and care provided to whites. Health disparities have remained stubbornly entrenched in the American health care system-and inJust Medicine, Dayna Bowen Matthew finds that they principally arise from unconscious racial and ethnic biases held by physicians, institutional providers, and their patients.
Publication Date: 2015
Troublesome Science by Rob DeSalle and Ian Tattersall explain how science has been misused to sustain belief in the biological basis of racial classification. Troublesome Science draws on the tools of taxonomy to show that while the diversity that exists within our species is a real phenomenon, it nevertheless defeats any attempt to recognize discrete units within it.
Publication Date: 2018
Successful STEM Mentoring Initiatives for Underrepresented Students by Successful STEM Mentoring Initiatives for Underrepresented College Studentsis a step-by-step, research-based guide for higher education faculty and administrators who are charged with designing mentoring programs to recruit and retain students from underrepresented groups. Written by an acknowledged expert in the field of STEM mentoring, the book constitutes a virtual consultant that enables readers to diagnose the issues they face, identify priorities, and implement appropriate practices to achieve their goals. The book describes the real and perceived barriers that underrepresented students--to include women, students of color, transfer students, and first-generation college students--encounter when considering enrollment, or participating, in science courses; considers the issues they face at the various transitions in their education, from entering college to declaring a major and moving on to a profession; and sets out the range of mentoring options available to program designers. By posing key questions and using three running case illustrations of common dilemmas, the book walks readers through the process of matching the best design options with the particular needs and resources of their own department or campus. Intentionally brief and to the point, the book is nonetheless a comprehensive guide to the full range mentoring models and best practices, that also covers issues of institutional and departmental climate and teaching methods, and offers insider insights to help designers avoid pitfalls as they create effective, sustainable mentoring initiatives. This guide will assist administrators working on new initiatives to broaden access and improve persistence and graduation in their programs, as well as apply for research grants, by clarifying objectives and identifying the effective evidence-based practices to achieve them. It also provides common conversation-starters for departments to identify obstacles to enrollment and broaden participation.
Publication Date: 2015
Below are a selection of organizations to support students, researchers, and faculty in STEM as well as groups dedicated to social justice and anti-racist efforts. This is not a comprehensive list. To find many more organizations, click here.
Reading, listening, and supporting the STEM-related organizations and initiatives included on this page are a great start.
Want to do more? Check out this page for other ways you can fight racism, including voting, volunteering, keeping up with the conversation, attending campus events, plus training and organizations beyond STEM that you can get involved with.
If you're looking for more resources or for something different, please reach out to one of our STEM Librarians:
- Jodi Bolognese (firstname.lastname@example.org): Engineering
- Philip Espinola Coombs (email@example.com): Health Sciences, Nursing, Nutrition, Speech Pathology & Audiology, Communication Sciences and Disorders
- Lauri Fennell (firstname.lastname@example.org): Health Sciences, Physical Therapy, Public Health, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
- Kathy Herrlich (email@example.com): Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Linguistics, Physics, Regulatory Affairs in Drugs, Biologics, and Medical Devices
- Luesoni Kuck (firstname.lastname@example.org): Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Health Informatics, Marine and Environmental Science, and Mathematics
- Rachel Landis (email@example.com): Computer Science
- Alissa Link Cilfone (firstname.lastname@example.org): Biology, Biochemistry, Bioengineering