Racism is a problem in science, both due to its history and in current scientific practice and representation. Historically, fundamental research methods, such as correlation, were developed to support eugenics (Rutherford, 2021). Moreover, most scientific studies, including those conducted at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD) at Birkbeck, recruit volunteer participants that over-represent European ancestry and higher socio-economic status than the population as a whole (Roberts et al., 2020).
GEL lab members Anna Gui and Angelica Ronald, with CBCD researcher Dr Maheen Siddiqui, received funding from the Wellcome/Birkbeck ISSF to organise a series of inter-disciplinary activities for CBCD researchers working in the fields of developmental psychology, neuroscience and genetics to reflect about how to improve racial diversity in our research and support anti-racism in our work environment.
The Series to Tackle Racism in Developmental Science (STRIDES) will consist of four in-person events over lunch, with invited speakers who will share their knowledge and perspectives.
The first event will take place in November and we will be fortunate to have internationally-known academic and broadcaster Dr. Adam Rutherford.
Roberts, S. O., Bareket-Shavit, C., Dollins, F. A., Goldie, P. D., & Mortenson, E. (2020). Racial Inequality in Psychological Research: Trends of the Past and Recommendations for the Future. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 15(6), 1295–1309. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691620927709
Rutherford, A. (2021). Race, eugenics, and the canceling of great scientists. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 175(2), 448–452. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.24192