Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #BLACKandSTEM

Most recents (24)

Yo @Frances_Coppola is out here questioning my Jewishness because of my Blackness like a good racist.
Frances (who blocked me right after questioning my Jewishness) is among the people who has insisted that Labour is disastrously antisemitic on the word of the pro-Zionist lobby. What does she do to a Jew who disagrees? Question their Jewishness and block!
THIS is a major piece of the “Is Labour antisemitic?” story. Jews who see nuance in the discourse about Zionism and Jews of colour who are more alarmed by the Tories are simply discarded as meaningful voices.
Read 18 tweets
AHHHHHHHHH MY FIRST peer reviewed #histSTM #STS paper is live and *open access*! This is the white empiricism paper!

“Making Black Women Scientists under White Empiricism: The Racialization of Epistemology in Physics”…
The “white empiricism” paper is here! It’s about how #BlackandSTEM women physicists are shaped by whiteness and how this whiteness shapes physics. #histSTM #STS #twitterstorians…
There are an enormous number of people who helped with this paper, including the brilliant copy editor @arickamarie. @RandomJetship’s idea of prestige asymmetry is central, and his feedback essential. And @alexisshotwell @SportIsARight helped me sort out how to make it better.
Read 5 tweets
Edward Bouchet was the first Black American to earn a PhD in the United Stares (1876, Yale) and it was in physics and we tend to treat this as the “beginning of Blacks in physics” and a “barrier broken” but I think this is a poor interpretation of his significance:
Yale was the first American institution to grant PhDs, starting in 1861, making Bouchet among the first Americans of any race to earn a PhD the United States in any discipline including physics. 👏🏽 Black physics PhDs were there from the beginning. 👏🏽
As discussed in @mighty2born’s marvelous new book on HBCUs, Shelter in a Time if Storm, the Institute for Colored Youth, which became the first HBCU @CheyneyUniv offered courses on Natural Philosophy from the beginning-the topic that evolved into physics-20yrs b4 Bouchet’s PhD.
Read 13 tweets
Do you want a PAID internship @ArchboldStation? The Avian Ecology Program is hiring for the 2020 field season!…
@ArchboldStation Who should apply? People with an undergraduate degree and some field experience who are looking for independent research experience.
#blackandSTEM #VanguardSTEM #lgbtstem
@ArchboldStation People who like working as part of a team. Our program has a lot of members and is led by award-winning researcher and mentor @reed_bowman
Read 10 tweets
This tweet has been on my mind a lot because it recalls my first experience with homophobia. I was 17, just realizing I was queer, and it was from another Black woman physics student at our REU in Chicago. "Your kids will be screwed up if there's no man."

Of course, this particular form of homophobia is not unique to Black people, but I highlight her Blackness because this homophobia is emboldened by pressures on the Black community because of stereotypes about our broken homes. Also:
It was at that point that I developed a nascent understanding that this homophobic idea that a man is necessary to raise children was also deeply misogynist. My mom was my caretaker and I don't think her gender/sex screwed me up. It's anti-single mom AND homophobic.
Read 8 tweets
When I first got started doing work around the exclusion of underrepresented minorities in physics and astronomy, there weren't diversity statements on job applications. It was okay to talk about sexism against women in science, but not racism in science. Now though: $$$$
In the last 10 years there has been ENORMOUS financial investment in "diversity and inclusion," and there is now real professional benefit to be had in being seen as "good" on diversity and inclusion, especially if you're a white person, especially if you're a white man.
I covered this with some sarcasm in my #diversityracket thread but maybe I can add some comments today
Read 17 tweets
An engineering professor: “Then, at about 12:30 a.m., they saw Mr. Povey walking toward the brick building with bolt cutters, flanked by six other people whom he has declined to identify to the university.”… via @NYTimes
“Protesters said Mr. Povey grabbed a student’s hair and another student’s arm after making his way into an entryway to try to cut the chains on an interior door. One of the men who students said arrived with Mr. Povey can be seen punching a protester in a video”
How different might things be if they had hired a #BlackandSTEM woman instead?
Read 3 tweets
#BlackandSTEM faculty: don’t be this person. You can tell someone you can’t write a letter for them but you can’t tell them you know their future. A scientist should know better than to think they are psychic.
I’m really deeply sympathetic to the difficulty faced by faculty who have to say “no” or who maybe haven’t had a positive experience with a student, but we have to tread very carefully around “you’re not ready for XYZ.”
We can definitely tell someone that we think they would benefit from more preparation — almost all of us would, after all — but we don’t know if they are ready for graduate school until admissions committees decide if they are ready for their programs.
Read 14 tweets
I can’t make sense of this claim. I am a professor of physics with an expertise in particle cosmology AND science and society and this claim doesn’t make any sense. Harris is helping her surrogates embarrass themselves right now. This is so bad. A bad loan forgiveness program.
I have a whole chapter in my book about what happens when Black people don’t understand that Black scientists are already real and not a figment of their imagination and the claim that KH has this stupid policy for imaginary Black scientists may need to be added to it lol
Like did she even speak to a Black scientist who knows anything about the policy issues that face #BlackandSTEM? Nope
Read 6 tweets
.@KeoluFox and I are in @thenation: "This is a battle between the old ways of doing science, and a new scientific method, which privileges the dignity and humanity of Indigenous peoples, including Hawaiians and the black diaspora." #StandWithMaunaKea…
@KeoluFox @thenation "It is a clash between colonial science—the one which, under the guise of progress, has all too often helped justify conquest and human rights violations—and a science that respects indigenous autonomy." #ProtectMaunaKea #WeAreMaunaKea #AoleTMT…
@KeoluFox @thenation "The Kūpuna are the keepers of knowledge in Kānaka ʻŌiwi communities. Instead of becoming human barricades, shouldn’t they have been included in conversations?" #StandWithMaunaKea #WeAreMaunaKea #ProtectMaunaKea #AoleTMT…
Read 11 tweets
Black scientists: you don’t have to try and fit in with the American colonial establishment in order to feel human or to prove your value. You are the descendants of Indigenous Africans who brilliantly survived colonialism and/or slavery. You were always five fifths.
Becoming a Black scientist does not require imagining and producing ourselves as part of a colonial establishment. We can understand ourselves as an Indigenous Diaspora.
And to do this work we have wonderful thinkers creating new frames for us, like @Hood_Biologist.
Read 13 tweets
Okay, last tweet about this before the weekend: you can watch my #BlackandSTEM conversation with Nam Kiwanuka by streaming it directly here on Twitter! Also, I recommend checking out her other interviews — so many interesting people and ideas!
When it comes to issues that Black women in physics face, there is so much more to say than what I got into the interview or can offer myself. Here is a really important piece about choosing not to pursue grad school beyond a masters by @astrophisacist:
In addition to explaining why she’s leaving, @astrophisacist gives out some really great advice for people thinking about grad school. The first item is something I ALL CAPS AGREE WITH:
Read 10 tweets
This last picture taken of me with both of my parents until I graduated from Harvard 16 years later! Tonight on TVO (or tomorrow streaming on their website or YouTube) you can learn a bit about my journey in the intervening years and beyond 💕 #blackandSTEM
The photo was taken by an @latimes photographer for a profile on my mom’s work trying to find the serial killer we now know as The Grim Sleeper:…
I re-read this part with regularity: “Anytime you have a black woman take a position and get noticed there's going to be conflict. She's a powerful person with a charisma, so she gets called aggressive, pushy, confrontational.”

My mom is my most influential mentor.
Read 10 tweets
Hey fellow first gen PhD/Black/femme folk: it’s okay to take the time to do well in your field/classes. You’re not abandoning your community by investing in yourself. Handled correctly, with time an investment in yourself can be an investment in your community. #BlackandSTEM
Survivor’s guilt is real. But your survivor’s guilt won’t feed anyone, including you, in the long run.
Survivor’s guilt can in fact be a form of self-indulgence. Who are you serving in the long run by not taking care of yourself? Sometimes it really is others. Somerimes we are forced to make sacrifices. But sometimes it’s just your guilty ego.
Read 8 tweets
That Aspen Center for Physics life. #BlackandSTEM
It’s a mountain, for sure.
Jokester is intended to call attention to our use of disposable plastics. #solotogether
Read 6 tweets
NEW WRITING! I have a piece out @NatGeo today — a love note to @chandraxray ❤️ with props to @planet4589 and Dr. Martin Elvis. #BlackandSTEM…
“As a young Black woman—one of the 1stsuch students to navigate the corridors of the @CenterForAstro—it mattered to have this kind of support. & it mattered to see it connected to Chandra, a project named after the only famous non-white theoretical physicist I had ever heard of.”
“I’m already looking forward to naming @STROBEXastro: When that essay contest starts, I’ll be submitting an entry about Harriet Tubman, who used astronomy to fight for freedom.” #BlackandSTEM
Read 7 tweets
My #PrideMonth message todaya for #BlackandSTEM (and everyone else who doesn't fit into white supremacist heterocisableist patriarchy): you cannot be ashamed of what you are or you won't make it. If you need your humanity to be acknowledged, you won't succeed by denying it.
Super grateful to my friend Meredith Schweig who called me this morning and reminded me that it's okay for me to take my own humanity seriously.
Sometimes being who you are means that you stand out. You gotta learn to live with that. Hiding in the shadows will not serve your humanity.
Read 4 tweets
Watching #WhenTheySeeUs and wondering how anyone can see it and still think that the US has only recently taken a turn toward totalitarian fascism. Totalitarian fascism is the conditions under which Blackness and Indigeneity is navigated in America.
#WhenTheySeeUs shows stop and frisk and hyper policing for what it is: totalitarian control over the lives of Black people
#WhenTheySeeUs is also the story of a bunch of white men detectives and their POC lackeys not actually caring to catch a rapist nearly as much as they care to torture and incarcerate Black children and their families
Read 8 tweets
Registration for the 2019 National Society of Black Physicists meeting is now open! #BlackandSTEM…
I won't be attending this year, but I can say that these conferences were a really, really important experience for me as a student, and I encourage faculty to let their students know about this and find ways to cover their registration.
I also encourage graduate programs to attend and recruit prospective graduate students. And summer programs, this is a great place to get applicants too!
Read 4 tweets
At the APS March Meeting, I gave a talk and was honored by the presence of distinguished Ethiopian physicist and Addis Ababa University Professor Mulugeta Bekele who is not only an expert on materials science but a life long freedom fighter:… #BlackandSTEM
There were over 20 years between when he earned his masters and when he earned his PhD. In between? He was a pro-democracy freedom fighter and spent over six years in jail because of his efforts. I feel so inspired by his example. #BlackandSTEM
Professor Bekele and I are keeping in touch, and I feel so lucky.
Read 3 tweets
GUESS WHO IS A 2019 @TheAdvocateMag CHAMPION of PRIDE, representing New Hampshire??? Thanks to The Advocate for including me on this incredible list!
I’m proud to be a queer #BlackandSTEM 🥳
Read 5 tweets
This #BlackandSTEM story is both deeply upsetting and terribly unsurprising. PhD student pay in the sciences in Canada is even worse than it is in the US, where it is already atrocious.
This was something I researched when I was a PhD student at @UWaterloo, about 70 miles from Toronto. At Waterloo, my annual stipend was so low that Canada considered me to be impoverished and sent me quarterly checks.
Students in Toronto, where the cost of living is much higher, were making more than us, but not so much more that they were actually able to live any better. The situation must be even worse now that the cost of living has skyrocketed in both places.
Read 24 tweets
So...I recently withdrew from the PhD program at U Toronto. I had a horrible experience that I wasn’t sure I would make it through. I carried a lot of fear and shame in sharing, but I don't feel that my silence serves me or other Black scholars trying to survive these spaces
Grad school is tough, but for Black and poor students who don't have the social or financial capital to weather frequent delays in pay and discriminatory campus health services, it can be really traumatic
For ex. - when my stipend was delayed, more than once, I couldn't afford rent or food. My fam was facing eviction from our gentrifying hood, my dad diagnosed w a rare chronic disease. This impacted my health. And the campus health services I turned to were SO violent and racist
Read 10 tweets
MY FIRST COLUMN ⁦@newscientist⁩ is out! I y’all fact and model fiction in the search for dark matter. And jackasses during research talks. #BlackandSTEM…
Complete with a shout out to @SHODesusAndMero — I’m guessing it’s their first time getting mentioned in a scientific publication 🥳
Wow, I was so excited that my first tweet had typos. I *talk* fact and model fiction in the search for the origins of dark matter. And also how to handle +that guy+ during research seminars.…
Read 3 tweets

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