Science News will observe #ShutDownSTEM on June 10

On Wednesday, June 10, Science News will suspend publication for the day to join in #ShutDownSTEM and #StrikeforBlackLives.

This movement — sparked by recent police
killings of black people in the United States and the subsequent protests
worldwide — is asking for those in the scientific community to acknowledge the
role they play in perpetuating racism, and to engage directly in eliminating
it.

To that end, we will use this day away from the daily news cycle to start working to improve our coverage of race and inequity. That includes how we use language to describe people and their lives, who we call upon as sources, and the choices we make about news coverage. It also includes efforts to increase diversity in our staff, which is predominantly white.

Science
News
has a long history covering race in America, including research
on stereotypes
and stigma
, racial
bias in research funding
, and how the lack of diverse
representation in clinical trials risks lives
. This year, we covered
challenges scientists face in accurately
defining race for the U.S. census
and how long-standing health
disparities have made African-Americans
more vulnerable to COVID-19
. But this magazine’s past also includes a shameful
embrace of racism under the guise of eugenics.

We must do better. We must be better.

Our mission is to explain the workings of science and
scientists, and to use science to better understand human behavior, societies
and the world around us. But to do that right, we have to make sure we’re not
limited by our own biases and presumptions, and accurately report where science
works and when it falls short in encompassing the breadth of human experience.

So we are ceasing our daily journalism to devote the day to a
series of meetings and conversations around these topics. We know that this
won’t be the work of a day, or a year. We are committed to working for lasting
change.

We welcome your thoughts; e-mail us at feedback@sciencenews.org.

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