The Lab for Invertebrate Paleobiology and Evolution at OEB/MCZ and Harvard stands firmly with the Statement on Anti-Racism published by the Paleontological Society, the flagship scientific society for our discipline in the United States. Additionally, incoming graduate student Jared C. Richards has produced a comprehensive online document with additional resources on anti-racism, against police brutality and online petitions, among others. We support the Black LIves Matter movement and black members of our community in the face of systemic atrocities stemming from white supremacy. We also acknowledge the troubling lack of representation in paleontology, and commit to create a more inclusive environment for black scientists.
Please visit this LINK for a document assembled by the Harvard Undergraduate Council that includes a list of Harvard organizations that are matching donations.
The Paleontological Society Statement on Anti-Racism
The Paleontological Society affirms that Black lives matter. Anti-Black violence—including the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of white supremacist vigilantes, and the racialized threats made against Christian Cooper—must end. The Society stands in support of its Black members and calls all its members to action.
The United States was built on a foundation of white supremacy, and systemic racism and oppression continue to be expressed in many ways that negatively impact the lives of people of color. Unpunished police brutality of Black bodies and the disparagement of ensuing protests are manifestations of white supremacist culture in the United States.
No field of science is neutral or “colorblind”. The sciences, including paleontology, have participated in the discrimination, oppression, and erasure of people of color throughout history. Failure to acknowledge this foundation of racism and oppression is one of the reasons we are not yet the professional society that we aspire to be. But we have the power to transform our society and this country when we acknowledge our history and commit to change. The Paleontological Society asks our members to take direct anti-racist action that supports Black people and promotes equity.
Use our Paleontological Society How to Be an Anti-Racism Ally resources.
Reach out to your colleagues and fellow members to support each other and hold each other accountable.
Published: June 1, 2020