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FQXi BLOGS
July 25, 2021

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: A statement from Foundational Questions Institute [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Anthony Aguirre wrote on Jun. 10, 2020 @ 20:03 GMT
Black Lives Matter. This is incontrovertible. But it is not enough to just say Black Lives Matter. We must also unpack and understand how we uphold white supremacy when we do not actively challenge the marginalization and silencing of Black scientists, of Black people. It is not by chance or coincidence that there are so few Black people in physics and cosmology. Academia, science institutes, and science foundations must take on the challenge that comes when we say Black Lives Matter.

As scientists it is not just our job to see the world as it is, but also to strive to make it a better place. To overcome our preconceptions and prejudices. To honestly assess ourselves and to acknowledge our own failings. In FQXi’s membership we count just two Black scientists. To deny we are part of the problem is to deny reality.

To quote Ijeoma Oluo “Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward.” We will therefore be making changes to the way in which we operate over the next few months and years in efforts to acknowledge and combat systemic racism in academia and within the foundation. We do not yet know what form they will take. We cannot guarantee we will be successful. But we will listen. We will learn. And we will do better.

Today we begin a process of both introspection and hard work at FQXi, designing initiatives. As we implement these plans we will give regular updates and be held to account; this is not something that will fall aside when the news cycle changes. If you have ideas for what FQXi should do, we’d love to hear them directly, at aguirre@fqxi.org or sloan@fqxi.org.

- The FQXi Leadership Team

We would be remiss to not acknowledge the support of Zeeya Merali, Kavita Rajanna and Jasmine Fledderjohann in drafting this statement.

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