The events of this week surrounding the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and David McAtee have been tragic reminders of our country’s systemic racism. Everyone has a role to play in the necessary solutions and reform—including early career scientists and engineers. The National Science Policy Network reaffirms our commitment to an inclusive and anti-racist environment that recognizes, respects, and supports people of all backgrounds and experiences. We aim to be an ally and resource for Black and brown members of our science policy community at large. With this in mind, our first priority is to listen to those whose experiences can inform this goal. Please continue to use our online portal, Slack channels, social media, and direct emails to share resources, experiences, and ideas for how we can do better.
As a burgeoning organization, we continue to strengthen our efforts towards equitable representation, elevated voices, and expanded opportunities for marginalized scientists and engineers in science policy, communication, and diplomacy. In the coming year, our goals include:
Continued support for our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee,
Establishment of new Chapters at minority serving institutions through designated Chapter development grants, and
Investment in new partnerships with minority serving organizations such as NSBE, SACNAS, and Reclaiming STEM.
Beyond these organizational goals, we hope all members of NSPN will join us in doing what you can to proactively address racism and other forms of systemic injustice that silence important voices and perspectives.
The National Science Policy Network was founded on the idea that science policy is an important tool for change. By empowering early career scientists to be strong leaders, communicators, and changemakers, we will bring forth a more equitable society. Science and policy are strongest when created and championed by diverse voices, and the question of who gets to participate and lead—and who does not—is a critical component of science policy.
We know that we can do more to leverage our national network to support Black scientists and engineers and advance equity and inclusion through science policy, and want to do so in concert with our Chapters and members. Again, we are here to listen. We’ll be hosting a virtual town hall for NSPN members to come together and inform positive actions we will take as a network. We would love to hear ideas from our Regional Hubs and Committees and from Chapters and individuals dedicated to science and policy. If you would like to be involved in coordinating this event, please reach out to us.