UBCO hosts webinar to discuss science and systemic racism

Science and systemic racism

A panel of leaders from a top science publication will join other scientific experts to discuss science and systemic racism at a webinar hosted by UBC Okanagan.

The webinar is dubbed, "Science and Systemic Racism" and will be hosted by Ian Foulds, the principal's research chair in Indigenous reconciliation in engineering at UBC Okanagan; Magdalena Skipper, editor-in-chief of the scientific journal Nature; and Alejandro Adem, president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

“I want to explore how are we doing with the commitments, what we are hearing and how universities and institutions work together for a more inclusive science,” explains Mukherjee Reed.

She also points to the need to foster allyship. “It is not easy to build allyship, but we cannot stand still,” says Mukherjee Reed, who was recently appointed one of UBC’s co-executive leads for anti-racism. “We must proceed as best we can and be prepared to learn as we move forward.”

The webinars begin on Thursday, November 26, and are part of an ongoing speaker series on systemic racism organized by the university.

The first three events focused on the experiences of anti-Black racism from students and faculty. This next discussion features a panel of leaders from a top science publication, a major Canadian scientific funding body, and an expert on Indigenous reconciliation will explore how science can be more inclusive.

“Our academic community has expressed a desire to hear from institutional leaders about accountability, responsibility and strategies for change,” says Ananya Mukherjee Reed, provost and vice-president academic at UBC Okanagan. “This is a critically important topic and I plan to continue the conversation with more voices in the research and scientific community over the coming months.”

This event is the first of three that will examine racism in science specifically. The next two—planned for the new year—will feature the perspectives of Indigenous and Black scientists.

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