GRAD 202: Racism in Science

We're excited to announce a new course for all first year basic sciences PhD students, offered by the Graduate Division Dean's Office.

Aimee Medeiros, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Antoine Johnson
PhD Candidate, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Course Dates: Fall 2020, October 1 – December 11

Course Description

This introductory course provides the historical background of systemic racism in scientific research. It explores the relationship between notions of race and science and how scientific research has been informed by and perpetuates anti-Black racism. This course also examines the impact of bias and a lack of diversity in science and ways in which to address these deficiencies. Students will learn the principles of social justice-oriented scientific research and its potential.

Course Objectives

  • Execute the principles of social-justice oriented scientific research.
  • Analyze how scientific research can naturalize racial inequalities.
  • Identify specific historical examples of anti-Black racism in scientific research.
  • Describe how implicit bias and lack of diversity undermine science.

Course Schedule

Week 1 – Introduction: Does Science have a racism problem?

Week 2 – What does it mean to be an anti-racist scientist?

Week 3 – Black STEM

Week 4 – The History of Racial Theories

Week 5 – Technology

Week 6 – Medicine

Week 7 – Genetics

Week 8 – Health Activism and Scientific Research

Week 9 – Afrofuturism, Abolitionism, and Critical Race Theory

Week 10 – Closing session

See the course syllabus.