This past summer, nearly 6,000 scientists went on strike. Why? To draw attention to the struggles of Black scientists, who hold less than 5 percent of U.S. jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and on average earn $13,000 less annually than white researchers.
On the day of the strike, some researchers joined protests in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement to take a stand for racial equality. Other scientists used the time to educate themselves and others on racism in STEM.
With more than 62 percent of Black scientists in the U.S. saying they’ve experienced discrimination based on their race, “there needs to be change,” says Nausheen Shah. Shah is a physicist at Wayne State University in Detroit and a member of Particles for Justice, the group that organized the science strike. “We need to be listening to Black scientists," says Shah.