As Director of the Boston University Bioinformatics Program, I pledge that our community stands in solidarity with Black people in the U.S., and around the world, against the pervasive evil of racism. All Black lives matter. It is inconsolably sad that it took the horrific death of George Floyd, and before him Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many others, to finally begin the difficult process of personal and institutional change that will be necessary to grant peace and justice to all. The history of our country is the history of a racist society. We can no longer look away from this reality. As Angela Davis (a Professor at UCLA when I was an undergraduate there) said, “In a racist society, it is not enough to be nonracist, we must be antiracist.” I call on all of us to make real changes in our lives that are aimed squarely at abolishing racism, police brutality, and injustice. As scientists whose professional lives are dedicated to truth and understanding, we know that all human beings are, and deserve to be treated as, equals. We have too long tolerated a society in which this is manifestly untrue for Blacks. We must now dedicate ourselves to change this racist system.
As one step in this long journey, I recommend that all members of our community participate in #ShutDownSTEM (https://www.shutdownstem.com) and #strike4blacklives (https://www.particlesforjustice.org) on Wednesday of this week. The goal of these actions is to educate ourselves and thereby formulate a plan of action that we can carry forward in our fight against racism in science.
Please stay safe and engaged.
Professor of Chemistry
Director, Program in Bioinformatics