Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #shutdownstem

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Earlier this year, we began a series of discussions in our joint @FinleyLabUSC and @KLeechLabUSC lab meetings that we refer to as Science, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (SIDE) discussions. (1/10)
These discussions started as a response to our growing awareness that research training and practice often fail to interrogate our role in maintaining, or hopefully, breaking down barriers to access and participation by marginalized groups. (2/10)
A key feature of these discussions is that we focus on topics directly related to research, education, and health. We ground our discussions by focusing on published papers that any lab member can recommend on a shared Slack channel. (3/10)
Read 10 tweets
1/ A great summary! After having peer reviewed many papers in the past, I can't leave this uncommented. There is just too much truth in it. But also many things missing. @markdhumphries…
2/ "only one of Einstein’s 300 or so published papers was ever peer-reviewed, which so disgusted him that he never submitted a paper to that journal again."

He was not alone. Nature rejected Kary Mullis PCR paper (Nobel Price awared).

And what about
3/ Peer Review is nothing more than "please have a look". It's a basic check, not a quality endorsment. Most papers I received were Chinese low quality papers pushing into high-end journals like Phys. Rev. B or Phys. Rev. Letters. I rejected (or redirected elswhere) most of them.
Read 15 tweets
1/ We have a new lab website!

There were a variety of reasons for the change, but the biggest ones were related to commitments we made as a lab during #ShutDownSTEM in June:

Specifically, we've made the following changes:
2/ We've created an online application form with clear instructions:

From now on, I will direct anyone who emails me to this form, which eliminates the "hidden curriculum" of how to write to a PI. Hopefully, this limits potential implicit bias from me.
3/ This application form also allows people to identify as being from an under-represented group, if they wish, which will help the lab to consider diversity more concretely when we're making recruitment decisions.
Read 9 tweets
In honor of today and tomorrow's #ScholarStrike founded by Dr. Anthea Butler @AntheaButler & co-created by Dr. Kevin Gannon @TheTattooedProf

I am connecting this with everyone who participated in #ShutDownSTEM , #ShutDownAcademia & #Strike4BlackLives 3 months ago!

Let's go🚀1/
When you joined into #ShutDownSTEM & #ShutDownAcademia it is because you were on a #Strike4BlackLives

This is because you were making a commitment to eradicate systemic racism.

This is because you understood you have a role to play.

We need to end this.


You understood deep down that there is no reason why anyone based on their skin color should undergo this treatment. Losing their lives, loved ones, being profiled by police, subjugated to painful treatment.

You understand deep down that #BlackLivesMatter

Read 14 tweets
What does "Radical Left Indoctrination" look like? WATCH this 10-min tutorial @IngrahamAngle on @fcpsnews. Note the FCPS school board calendar: 7/13 "work session" on "anti-racist curriculum" but no "return to school" meeting til 7/21. That's radicalization over education! 🤦🏾‍♂️🍎
Here is my 1st testimony to @fcpsnews school board when I realized their radicalization was on a course to #shutdownstem (yes) at my son’s STEM magnet school, TJHSST, with shaming of our mostly Asian immigrant families of color by the white principal
Here is my 2nd testimony. As a parent + investigative reporter, I recommend you watch your school boards, follow the money, scour for the indoctrination of kids with “critical race theory,” pitching people in race wars. Send me tips!
Read 3 tweets
Angry, probably incoherent, rant incoming.
This is insane. This is a workshop to dismantle white supremacy culture in schools. Just look at some of the things they consider white supremacy culture.…
I want to focus on a few of these "symptoms of white supremacy culture."
Individualism, Objectivity, Worship of the written word.
This is an attack on the Enlightenment. The written word is what advanced humanity, from the first scratches to count livestock or harvest to Sumerian Cuneiform and Egyptian Hieroglyphics. Writing developed independently in the Indus valley and the Yellow River valley in China.
Read 17 tweets
Two weeks ago we had #shutdownstem. About black Americans. In Science.

Let me be clear: Lab heads explicitly refer to foreign students/postdocs as “Slave Labor”!! I have this on audio, *repeatedly*, from interviews with leading biologists I conducted years ago for @ASCBiology.
We don’t remember anything from week to week. We don’t connect the dots. We just argue emotionally like we are doing in these pictures.

Let me tell you what would likely happen in the absence of visa access. Salaries would go up & US blacks/women/minorities would be hired more.
In short, many of those cut outs would turn Into Black faces. And Latino faces. And mothers with kids would be seen. Higher wages for research families. Homes. Cars. Medical plans would get better.

Also, labs could shrink. Taxes might rise.

It’s real life folks. Not a good cry.
Read 3 tweets
As the 1st BW to graduate from Yale astro w a PhD in astrophysics, I was asked to comment on the racist dept emails sent by senior faculty in this @buzzfeednews story. TBH, I wasn't planning to. Not surprising and not worth my time. #BlackintheIvory…
Then I remembered being a student there and watching blatantly racist things happen that I didn't feel like I could or even knew how to speak to. I remember wishing someone would stand up for my right to be there. Very often no one did; certainly not publicly. #BlackintheIvory
I remember vowing that if I ever got power in my field that I wouldn't squander it by only celebrating my scientific expertise, but that I would use it to encourage and create space for folx like me, who cared both abt people and the Universe. Oh hai power... 😎 #BlackintheIvory
Read 11 tweets
Last wk, we discussed how Western science is founded on anti-Blackness. Today, we share how Black ppl across the globe have always been at the forefront of knowledge creation, within/outside of/in resistance to anti-Black dominant institutions of science.
We intentionally couple these threads b/c while it’s important to name and work to dismantle the ways institutional science has exacted violence against Black communities, we need to also know about & celebrate how Black communities have BEEN doing science, BEEN making knowledge.
As a note, this thread is part of our #ScientistSolidarity Drive, calling non-Black scientists to support orgs/funds doing grassroots racial justice & abolition work. We're $800 away from hitting our $6110 match goal! #ScienceIsPolitical #BlackLivesMatter
Read 20 tweets
This was y'all last night at the @AAS_CSMA #ShutDownSTEM Town Hall lol
On a serious note, thank you to everyone who was patient as we fought to screen everybody waiting to get into the meeting. We took extra precautions to protect the Black astronomers breakout room from racist attacks.
As far as I could tell, all the Black people who registered for the meeting were able to gain access to the room and had a pleasant time. My sincerest apologies to any Black folks who were not able to access the meeting.
Read 19 tweets
Shots fired! @EricRWeinstein brilliantly calls out the sanctimonious entities @nature @NSF @Caltech that virtue-signal about #BlackLivesMattters through #ShutDownSTEM

“If those people care so deeply about BLM... you allow the labor market to work WITHOUT visas as labor relief!”
Full video can be seen here:

@EricRWeinstein paper on How and Why Government, Universities, and Industry Create Domestic Labor Shortages of Scientists and High-Tech Workers:…
Read 3 tweets
For #ShutdownSTEM #shutdownacademia we must discuss how to make TRUE progress in diversifying the STEM research pipeline. While recruitment/retention work needs to occur, why don't more Black and minority students WANT TO ENTER research careers? THREAD 1/n
A paper by a Black female student I mentor @christianah_med came out recently during Covid19 with little fanfare in @jmirpub #meded but relates to this exact topic so wanted to share here 2/n
This work was from my first R01 and at the intersection of many things I am passionate about #SoMe #meded #STEM #diversity – Can we use social media campaigns to inspire minority youth to consider research careers?… 3/n
Read 13 tweets
What’s police brutality and racism got to do with science?


A #BlackAndSTEM/#ShutDownSTEM/#ShutDownAcademia/#BlackLivesMatter multidisciplinary science megathread.
Did you know that studies have revealed that diversity drives scientific innovation? Another way to put that: The absence of Black people in science results in lower quality science. So says @nature, one of the world’s most prestigious science journals…
@nature Where are all the #BlackAndSTEM scientists? Racism blocks their way. While white males make up 40-60% of science Ph.D. students, the Black %s are usually in the single digits. Physics, astronomy, and Earth sciences are usually in the 1-3% range.…
Read 40 tweets
One issue in equity work is how to center Black voices without making Black people do all the (thankless) work.

Ironically, this as isn't much of an issue in physics, because the problems are so bad that non-Black people HAVE to do the work.
#ShutDownSTEM #Strike4BlackLives
So the key for those of us who want to do the labor without dominating the conversation is to listen to and be guided by the few Black physicists we have. They know what they need and what future students/postdocs/faculty need.
And they've done even more thankless work to compile resources for reading! So go here and read up, then use what you've read to take action:
Read 3 tweets
1/ For #ShutDownSTEM today, our lab put aside research and crafted some concrete ideas for what we can do to help reduce anti-black/indig. racism, and more broadly, increase diversity in STEM. Our focus was local, specific acts to the lab. I wanted to share what we came up with.
2/ (Item 1) we decided that we could alter the way in which members of the lab are selected, in order to reduce the potential influence of unconscious biases and barriers that could potentially keep BIPOC from getting into the lab.
3/ Currently, the process is informal: ppl email me, and if I am impressed, I have a Zoom meeting and/or they give a talk and meet the lab. I then ask the lab's opinions, and make a final decision.
Read 20 tweets
Today for #ShutDownAcademia #ShutDownSTEM, the GEU and its coalition partners in the STEM community are calling for the removal of Stephen Hsu as VP of Research and Graduate Studies at @michiganstateu.
The person responsible for directing MSU research funding is a vocal scientific racist and eugenicist. This is shameful, and it is actively harmful to our research community. #FireStephenHsu
The following thread contains links to Hsu’s own posts and his own words. They are broadly organized into categories demonstrating positions of RACISM, EUGENICS, SEXISM, and CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.
Read 30 tweets
Although #ShutDownSTEM & #ShutDownAcademia is just for today (I do need to go back to work tomorrow), it was great to find this calendared resource from @Autumn_Bry which means I can carry on learning over the following weeks:…
And another huge list of articles and resources:…
More music: Jamrock by Damian Marley remains an absolute bop. David Rodigan closed a session with this in London and I've never felt a beat so heavy. Incredible sound.
Read 21 tweets
"Society for Cultural Anthropology in Solidarity with Black Lives & the Association of Black Anthropologists"
Click the link for the SCA statement & full text of the @ABA_AAA statement to our membership

#Strike4BlackLives #ShutDownSTEM #ShutDownAcademia… Image
We encourage our members to join #ShutdownSTEM & #ShutdownAcademia to give Black academics and researchers a day of rest and healing while white & non-Black People of Color educate themselves & make concrete plans to eradicate anti-Black racism in academia
Read 7 tweets
On #ShutDownSTEM #ShutDownAcademia day, some rambling thoughts on academia, inequalities, and power differentials. I've expressed some of these thoughts before, but it is a good idea to stop and reflect on this day.
The first thing that comes to mind after my short four years as a professor is that academia depends too much on volunteer work. Our work, and our time, is massively undervalued. Our students should get paid more. Professors should get paid more, especially in non STEAm areas.
I see this as a kind of exploitation: exploiting people's love for science and sincere desire to contribute to keep this giant academic machine running.

The folks who do the most work - the students - get paid the least, while publishers like Elsevier capture profits.
Read 16 tweets
Today we #ShutDownSTEM & #ShutDownAcademia. I'm going to spend most of today educating myself about the lived experiences of black people and listening to as much black music and comedy as I can, and I'm going to share it with all 301 of my twitter followers.
I'm going to start by reading through this document, completing as many of the action points that I can, and going through the resources linked to at its foot:…
And while I do that I'll be relistening to RTJ4 by @runjewels. My favourite tracks so far are holy calamafuck, walking in the snow and pulling the pin (feat. INCREDIBLE lyrics by the legendary @mavisstaples)
Read 22 tweets
Today is a day of action for scientists and academics to combat anti-Black racism in their fields and communities #Strike4BlackLives #ShutDownSTEM #ShutDownAcademia (thread)
Next in the thread are resources published recently in Physics Today that might prove useful to those taking action.

But start with these links
1) The recent @AIP_TEAMUP report provides concrete recommendations for boosting participation and improving the experience of African Americans in physics and astronomy…
Read 10 tweets
Today, I stand with #StrikeforBlackLives #ShutDownSTEM. I hope you join me in taking concrete actions for Black lives in our labs, our departments, our universities, and our communities beyond academia. Image
Things on my agenda today:

- research Black scientists to diversify my syllabi and invite for seminars

- solicit book donations from faculty to start an equity library

- ask uni and scientific societies to release demographic data as a first step in accountability
I’m also going to work with colleagues to start putting together resources about how to diversify our faculty in ways that don’t just end up perpetuating anti-Black racism. (What are the barriers, what would it take to get an opportunity hire approved, etc.).
Read 6 tweets
Nachdem ich feststellen musste, dass mir ad hoc in meinem Feld (Mikro/Immunbiologie) keine Schwarzen Wissenschaftler einfallen, habe ich beschlossen, diese Wissenslücke zu füllen. Es folgt: ein Thread. 1/23 #shutdownSTEM #blacklivesmattervienna
In diesem Kontext muss ich erwähnen, dass bis vor kurzem Tausende Schwarze für medizinische Experimente missbraucht wurden (zB Tuskegee), ein abscheuliches Verbechen, das zu Misstrauen gegenüber Medizinern geführt hat und dessen Nachwirkungen immer noch spürbar sind. (2/23)
1. Wie vermutlich auch bei vielen meiner Kollegen ist die einzige Schwarze Person, deren Beitrag zur Wissenschaft mir schon vorher bekannt war, Henrietta Lacks. Das ist insofern besonders traurig, als das nicht freiwillig passiert ist. (3/23)
Read 23 tweets
Thousands of scientists are suspending their work today to confront and eradicate anti-black racism in academia and STEM.

#ShutDownSTEM #ShutDownAcademia
Thank you to @cosmojellyfish @sheydaipek and Tien-Tien Yu for talking to me about the movement, which was pioneered by a coalition of scientists who have long been doing the work of fighting anti-Black racism in academia, including @IBJIYONGI @iamstarnord.
You can hear more about that work in this @sotrueradio interview with @IBJIYONGI @iamstarnord.…
Read 12 tweets

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