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AAAS CEO Comments on Social Unrest, Racism, and Inequality

AAAS CEO Sudip Parikh
Sudip Parikh, pictured here at the 2020 AAAS Annual Meeting, reached out to AAAS members with a timely message about diversity, equity and inclusion in the scientific enterprise on June 1. | Robb Cohen Photography & Video

We are of our community – and our community is in pain. We cannot escape the problems of society – for we carry the successes and challenges of our community with us wherever we go. Left unchecked, racism, sexism, homophobia, and fear of the other can enter any organization or community – and destroy the foundations upon which we must build our future.

The past few harrowing days have laid bare how a lack of trust, respect, and leadership can tear at our social fabric. In these times, we must pull together and provide leadership in our own communities. Leadership is not about having all of the answers. It starts with unwavering principles that can steady us when the world seems unbalanced.

With all that is happening around us, let us recommit AAAS to these relevant principles:

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion along every axis are critical for our organization, the scientific enterprise, and our community to progress
  • Ensuring lasting diversity, equity, and inclusion requires going beyond intervention to systemic change
  • Systemic change begins with everyone feeling safe and respected
  • Hatred, discrimination, and injustice have no place at AAAS, in science, or in our community

Let us recommit ourselves to these principles and rededicate ourselves to the mission of advancing science and serving society. Society needs us more than ever.

The coming weeks and months will bring further unprecedented challenges to us and our communities. What we do in this time will define us for a generation. In the face of national uncertainty, I am confident in this team’s ability to be a force for science, a force for good, and a support for one another. Our programs, publications, and advocacy are critical to a better and more just world. Your support makes each of these possible.

Nevertheless, a torrent of emotion has been unleashed in the last few days. It is understandable to feel anger, sadness, and helplessness. Many of us have been deeply impacted by these events. It is my hope that we come together as colleagues and friends to support one another. Science, scientists, and science advocates are going to be critical to ensuring we successfully navigate this troubled time together.

Sudip S. Parikh, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Executive Publisher, Science Journals

 

Author

Sudip Parikh

Chief Executive Officer and Executive Publisher, Science Journals