EEB and racism

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During fall 2020 we will discuss racism as it relates to the field of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. Graduate students are encouraged to participate in any way that works for them. Discussions are intended to be informal and are designed to help us all learn about racism in our field's history, about its role today, and - most importantly - to help us identify things we can all do to make our work more accessible and welcoming to all.

Students can sign up for course credit if they would like to, but our discussions are not designed to be something that people will be graded for. If you do sign up for credit, you will receive an S (satisfactory) grade as long as you attend a majority of meetings and lead the discussion at least once.

For more information, or to be added to the group's email list, contact Chris Elphick.

Week of: Topic Discussion lead Readings, etc.
31 Aug All Organization
14 Sep History: Darwin & slavery Chris (unless someone wants to volunteer) Desmond and Moore, pp xxi, 1-7, 18-26, 32-44.
21 Sep History: Mismeasure of Men Chris (unless someone wants to volunteer) Gould, pp. 19-72; investigate the controversy
28 Sep History: Ecology Austin and Kevin Environmental/Ecological History [1] [2], Contemporary Racism in Ecology/Environmental Science [3] [4]
5 Oct History: Conservation Franco History of Racism in Conservation [5] [6], Contemporary Racism in Conservation [7], OPTIONAL: How can we be more inclusive? [8]
12 Oct Scientific colonialism: in the past and now Swapna (& Georgia?) Science Still Bears the Fingerprints of Colonialism[9]

Read the paper I emailed out that Georgia kindly translated for us!

Watch this video AND read the comments! Science Must Fall

19 Oct Species naming issues Sam

This week in class we will discuss species naming. Our starting point will be with the American Ornithological Society (who names birds in North America) and how they previously and currently have handled species naming with respect to birds named after people linked to slavery or other racist institutions (or people who otherwise did racist things). Please read the below statement (quite short), but also make sure to take a look at some of the embedded linked articles including the new guidelines, the 2019 proposal, and the policy enunciated two decades ago.

and 2 additional reads:

preprint of paper related to species naming in global north/south relative to how often names are in honor of people in global north:

historical background for people who contributed a lot to ornithology and also did really terrible things

In addition, because all of this is so bird-centric, Chris had a great idea for everyone to take a quick look on the google to see if there's any info on species naming related to your study taxa. We'll chat about the above articles and the google searches on Monday!

26 Oct Field work Eliza & Jess Racism and harassment are common in field research — scientists are speaking up[10]

Demery & Pipkin (2020)[11]

Skim this Saltmarsh Safety SOP[12], we will be using it as a template to come up with field safety guidance for research in Connecticut

2 Nov Society, conferences, and codes of conduct Liz and Val Required: "Grieving and frustrated: Black scientists call out racism in the wake of police killings" [13]

Homework: look up a society you are a part of (see email)

Optional: (1) "A medical school tradition comes under fire for racism" [14] (2) Cultivating institutional transformation and sustainable STEM diversity in higher education through integrative faculty development [DOI 10.1007/s10755-013-9277-9]

9 Nov Multi-cultural education: Teaching Cindy and Kara
16 Nov Multi-cultural education: Mentoring Andrew
23 Nov -- NO MEETING
30 Nov
7 Dec Wrap-up/next steps/summarize actions


Project biodiversify (teaching tools to promote diversity and inclusivity)
DiversifyEEB (illustrating diversity among those who study EEB)
UConn's chapter of Ecological Society of America's SEEDS (Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability) program
Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans (SACNAS)
GEM consortium
Biomedical Conference for Minority Students(ABRCMS)