Researchers pause to focus on black lives in science

Scientists around the world are taking a daylong pause from work to focus attention on racial justice issues in science. Credit: Shutdown STEM

Thousands of scientists around the world are taking part in a pause from work on Wednesday, June 10, to support ongoing protests for racial justice and encourage greater diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The #shutdownSTEM initiative was organized by the groups Shutdown STEM, Particles for Justice and Vanguard STEM. Organizers are asking participants to reach out to their professional societies to encourage greater diversity in their fields. Both the journal Nature and Science are taking part in the action, which encourages participants to “stop all usual academic work for the day.”

Actions across the country include virtual discussions and campus marches, including at the University of Chicago and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Science reports. “We hope that, as individuals in communities, scientists, academics and everyone use this day as one of many to take action for Black Lives,” Brian Nord, an astrophysicist at the University of Chicago, Illinois, and a member of Particles for Justice, told Nature.