The BOFFINS Society (Biweekly Open Forum For Issues in Natural Sciences) took their own stance on Black History month last week and why it should matter to all students and areas of academia
The main aim of the BOFFINS talk was to highlight the issues with talking about race in the scientific community, with the event highlighting two major points: firstly, the lack of reporting on the important differences between races (i.e. from a biomedical perspective) and the fact that this is neglected from scientific literature. Secondly, when scientists do report on things, they often touch upon historically controversial stereotypes, and these are all white scientists and therefore the clarity of biased reporting is neglected. Strangely enough, this is still a 21st century problem.
Clarissa Gardener, President of BOFFINS, commented on the event:
“I wanted to give a presentation on my race, things that interest me, like why everyone else has lighter skin, straighter hair, to biomedical phenomena like malaria resistance and the genetic influence of blood pressure. Just to show that there are interesting as well as biomedically important differences between us – that don’t have to be controversial.”