Resources for Building Inclusivity in Science

The Center for Science Education stands in solidarity with our Black teachers and students. We condemn systemic racism and the countless acts of violence against the Black community.

There are deep inequities in science and science education. The need for change motivated us to found our center in 2009. Today we affirm the importance of strengthening our understanding of effective anti-racist practices so that our center can best serve all partnering teachers and students. We acknowledge that this is an enduring journey and we have much to learn and improve—as individuals and as a center—to reach our goal of building inclusivity in science. We commit to doing this work.

To support the facilitation of discussions in our classrooms about race, racism, and inequities in science and health, we are sharing links to resources that we have found helpful in our own discussions as we work to improve our practices.

“Seeing Color,” A Discussion of the Implications and Applications of Race in the Field of Neuroscience
Many of the historical figures discussed in this article are commonly taught about in high school classrooms, including in the Great Diseases Neurological Disorders curriculum.
A large collection of resources for teachers wishing to promote diversity and inclusion and teach about issues of social justice and bias in their classrooms. There are many lessons specifically about science or health. An example is this lesson on diversity in STEM careers, which might pair nicely with BioScann.

How to Make Your Teaching More Inclusive
A primer on inclusive teaching practices aimed at college instructors, which could be useful for high school teachers.

Racial Equality Analysis Tool
Racism (individual, institutional, and structural) and inequality are present in virtually every aspect of our society. How can you change this at your school? This tool “lays out a clear process and a set of questions to guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of significant policies, initiatives, professional development, programs, instructional practices, and budget issues to address the impacts on racial equity.”

Avoiding unrecognized racist implications arising from teaching genetics
There is no biological basis for the concept of race as we know it in the United States. Despite this, teaching about population genetics can inadvertently introduce racist ideas. This short article is a good primer for beginning to think about these issues and how this pitfall can be avoided.
This website offers an extremely comprehensive collection of resources for educating, planning, evaluating, and acting to reduce racism and inequalities. Included are curricula for use in the classroom.

Teaching While White
White people have been trained to not think about race or racism, and this is something that needs to change if we are to begin to solve issues of racial inequality. For white teachers this is particularly important. This website has a comprehensive list of readings for white people to understand whiteness, why it’s difficult for white people to talk about racism, and white people’s role in perpetuating racism. This website also has additional resources such as workshops for white teachers.

100 Inspiring Black scientists in America
Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of inspiring Black scientists in America today. Despite their significant contributions in their respective scientific fields, Black scientists are not often talked about. This list seeks to begin to highlight their accomplishments. 

Race Matters
This brief commentary takes a look at why, despite high initial interest in science, retention of students of color in science remains low. David J. Asai offers ways in which we can strive to make science inclusive for all students.

Social Justice in the Science Classroom
A short blog about the importance of social justice, equity, and cross-cultural communication in science. Included are important points for teaching these concepts and links to many additional resources, including teaching tidbits.

Racism, Not Genetics, Explains Why Black Americans Are Dying of COVID-19
Right now a lot of people are talking about COVID-19, race, and the intersection between. Because of the confusing way that scientists sometimes talk about race, and because of unexamined racist views or blind spots of many researchers, health disparities in COVID-19 outcomes are often explained as a biological problem. This article from Scientific American neatly explains why this is not true, and that the disparities are arising from a socio-cultural problem. Social constructs of race have very little to do with genetic makeup and ancestry, but still have very real consequences for health.

Equity vs. Equality
An in-depth analysis of the distinction between these two terms and how the implementation of one versus the other can lead to different outcomes for different people.