Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(37,181 posts)
Wed Jun 10, 2020, 11:13 AM Jun 2020

#ShutDownAcademia #ShutDownSTEM 10 June 2020

Last edited Wed Jun 10, 2020, 11:55 AM - Edit history (2)


On edit: See also post #2 below for a Scientific American article and interview with one of the organizers, which may distill it better than the direct sources.

Note: STEM here is an abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine

I don't have a comprehensive list, but a lot of institutions and publishers across the world are participating today. That doesn't even get into the number of individuals.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020
No research
No meetings
No classes
No business as usual

On June 10, 2020, we will #ShutDownAcademia, #ShutDownSTEM, and #Strike4BlackLives.

In the wake of the most recent murders of Black people in the US, it is clear that white and other non-Black people have to step up and do the work to eradicate anti-Black racism. As members of the global academic and STEM communities, we have an enormous ethical obligation to stop doing “business as usual.” No matter where we physically live, we impact and are impacted by this moment in history.

Our responsibility starts with our role in society. In academia, our thoughts and words turn into new ways of knowing. Our research papers turn into media releases, books and legislation that reinforce anti-Black narratives. In STEM, we create technologies that affect every part of our society and are routinely weaponized against Black people.

Black academic and Black STEM professionals are hurting because they exist in and are attacked by institutional and systemic racism. Black people have been tirelessly working for change, alongside their Indigenous and People of Color allies. For Black academics and STEM professionals, #ShutDownAcademia and #ShutDownSTEM is a time to prioritize their needs— whether that is to rest, reflect, or to act— without incurring additional cumulative disadvantage.

Those of us who are not Black, particularly those of us who are white, play a key role in perpetuating systemic racism. Direct actions are needed to stop this injustice. Unless you engage directly with eliminating racism, you are perpetuating it. This moment calls for profound and meaningful change. #ShutDownAcademia and #ShutDownSTEM is the time for white and non-Black People of Color (NBPOC) to not only educate themselves, but to define a detailed plan of action to carry forward. Wednesday June 10, 2020 will mark the day that we transition into a lifelong commitment of actions to eradicate anti-Black racism in academia and STEM. We join with members of Particles for Justice in calling for a #Strike4BlackLives.

To be clear: #ShutDownSTEM is aimed at the broad research community who is not directly participating in ending the global pandemic, COVID-19. If your daily activities are directly helping us end this global crisis, we send our sincerest gratitude. The rest of us, we need to get to work.

Share your detailed plans and actions with the global community using the hashtags #ShutDownSTEM and #ShutDownAcademia.

Our collective efforts will lead to eradicating anti-Black racism because Black lives depend on it.
3 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
#ShutDownAcademia #ShutDownSTEM 10 June 2020 (Original Post) JHB Jun 2020 OP
i read it but I cant figure out why STEM? My grand daughters went to a STEM elementry school.. samnsara Jun 2020 #1
On reflection, maybe I would have done better to link to a news article... JHB Jun 2020 #2
That was helpful. Thank you. n/t Laelth Jun 2020 #3


(17,746 posts)
1. i read it but I cant figure out why STEM? My grand daughters went to a STEM elementry school..
Wed Jun 10, 2020, 11:28 AM
Jun 2020

...and learned a lot.


(37,181 posts)
2. On reflection, maybe I would have done better to link to a news article...
Wed Jun 10, 2020, 11:51 AM
Jun 2020

...instead of going directly to the source, which is aimed at people in academia and the STEM community instead of the general public.


Policy & Ethics
Scientists and Others Stage a #Strike4BlackLives
June 10 is a day off from “business as usual” for non-Black academics and a day of rest for Black students, staff and faculty

By Gary Stix on June 9, 2020

When the noted particle theorist Alessandro Strumia gave a talk at CERN near Geneva in 2018, he raised a storm of protest by suggesting that women in his discipline were somehow less capable than men. In response, a collection of physicists who gave themselves the endearing name Particles for Justice came together to issue a statement condemning Strumia’s remarks.

Last week, members of the group (who had remained in close touch after the Strumia incident) had a virtual meeting and decided to mount a light-speed response to the current global wave of pushback against racism following the death of George Floyd. They created the hashtag #Strike4BlackLives and designated Wednesday, June 10, as a day when academics should stop all they are doing—whether it be conducting research, holding seminars or writing papers—to highlight the racism facing Black students and faculty in higher education and throughout society.

The group also aligned with another informal effort—under the hashtags #ShutDownStem and #ShutDownAcademia—that is backing the strike. More than 4,600 people have pledged to participate.

Scientific American spoke with Nausheen Shah, one of the organizers of #Strike4BlackLives. She is a theoretical particle physicist at Wayne State University who does research on the Higgs boson and dark matter.

[An edited transcript of the interview follows.]

How did #Strike4BlackLives get started?

Everything that happened during the past few weeks was distressing to say the least. And it kind of brings to a head all of the problems not just in society as a whole but also in academia, which doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The effort [was] spearheaded by Chanda [Prescod-Weinstein, an assistant professor of physics at the University of New Hampshire] and Brian [Nord, a visiting assistant professor at the University of Chicago and an associate scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Ill.].

The idea was that there was a need to be doing something other than just organizing seminars and workshops and sitting in the back and saying, “Oh, yes, I attended this diversity and inclusion seminar. So, you know, I’m all done, right?’” But nothing’s really changed.

[more at link]
Latest Discussions»General Discussion»#ShutDownAcademia #ShutDo...