The Diversity Problem in Science | Community Idea Stations

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The Diversity Problem in Science

Why is it we know so little about the lived experiences of scientists of color and their responses to the claims made about them in the name of science? Dr. Evelyn Hammonds, a historian of science at Harvard University, uses W. E. B. DuBois' 1939 essay, “The Negro Scientist,” to address the question of the persistent under-representation of native-born U.S. African –Americans, Native Americans and Latino Americans in the U.S. scientific and technical workforce from the early 20th century to the present.

Evelynn M. Hammonds is the Chair of the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University, the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of History of Science, and a Professor of African and African American Studies. The intersections of race, gender, science and medicine are prominent research topics across her published works, including two books; The Nature Difference: Sciences of Race in the United States from Jefferson to Genomics (MIT Press, 2008) and Childhood’s Deadly Scourge (Johns Hopkins University Press). For five years prior to returning to full time teaching in 2013, Dr. Hammonds served as Harvard College’s Dean; both their first African-American and first woman to head the College.

This program was held September 19, 2017 in Richmond, Virginia and represents the second of a series of eight science cafes in partnership between Science Pub RVA and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Science, Technology and Society Program, a unit of the College of Humanities and Sciences, and is supported by a National Science Foundation grant (#1611953).


SciPubbers at The Speakeasy in Richmond, Virginia  on September 19, 2017 (Photo: Photography of Kevin Morley)

More photos can be found here.

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Science Pub RVA is a program of Science Matters and the Community Idea Stations, central Virginia’s PBS and NPR stations.