Howdy y'all! Allos (@verybadpaleontologyjokes) here!
Thank you to everyone who watched our stream, participated in presenting on our stream, and donated to our stream! We collectively dontated a total of $4624 USD to the National Bailout, the Bail Project, BLM, and Ranowo!
While this weekend and stream is over, the work of supporting black lives continues on in the form of education and advocacy. My particular soapbox is focused on the geosciences, because that is where I have gotten (!!!) my degree, and many people who pursue paleontology education will find them in geology departments around the world.
In the United States, the STEM fields struggle with including racial minorities. The geosciences are the least racially diverse of all STEM fields, with almost 90% of all doctoral-level degrees given to white academics (see 1 in the links). This link talks about reasons for why this may be, but a fundamental part of it is the colonialist and racist history of geology. Black people in the United States have been systemically blockaded from pursuing STEM fields as a consequence of exclusion from academia in general, and indigenous communities were displaced by colonization that made the early days of American paleontology possible. It is the duty of non-black paleontology stsudents and enthusiasts to educate themselves on the racist history of geology and paleontology, as well as to promote anti-racism within themselves and other people.
Below, I have linked several resources and articles discussing anti-racism and the racist history of geology specifically. While I do not have any specific links for biology (which is a crucial part of paleontology), many of the statements said within the following links apply to biology as well. The very first one is blacklivesmatter.card.co, which I recommend as a general source for information. Link 1 (mentioned earlier) is a Nature article talking about racism in the geosciences written by Dr. Kuheli Dutt from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. Links 2 and 3 are compilations of combatting racism in geosciences. Links 4 and 5 are news/media articles on geosciences’ lack of racial diversity. Link 6 is a Change.Org petition pushing for GSA, AGU, and other major geology bodies to issue statements on increasing and promoting racial equity within geology. The last link is a link to the National Association of Black Geoscientists, which I highly recommend people look through to get more familiar with black geoscientists.
If you are just starting to understand how racism, and especially anti-black racism affects the scientific community, welcome! There is always time to learn, and there is always time to improve. We’re glad you’re here. For those of you who have been doing this for a while, we’re glad to have you still!
Black lives matter, black lives are wonderful, black lives are excellent, black lives are everywhere, and black lives are crucial to our communities.
Be excellent to each other,
2) Bryn Mawr Geology and Colonialism Readings: https://mineralogy.digital.brynmawr.edu/blog/geology-colonialism-reading-list/
3) Geo Reading for Equity: https://www.georeadingforequity.com/
4) EGU blog on being black in geosciences: https://blogs.egu.eu/divisions/gd/2020/06/10/black-in-geosciences/
5) NYT: Earth Sciences Has A Whiteness Problem: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/23/science/earth-science-diversity-education.html
6) Change.Org petition: A Call for a Robust Anti-Racist Action Plan from All Professional Geoscience Societies and Organizations https://www.change.org/p/geoscientists-call-for-a-robust-anti-racism-plan-for-the-geosciences
7) The National Association of Black Geoscientists: https://www.nabg-us.org/