Combating systemic discrimination in science

With the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May 2020, communities around the world were again reminded of the persistent – and too often invisible – scourge of systemic racism in society.

The ISC published a statement on 9 June 2020 asking for a dialogue to be convened in all societies and in all sectors of society, including science.

‘We call on our members and international partners to join us in undertaking urgent action: to gather existing knowledge on discrimination in science; to convene a global dialogue within and beyond the institutions of science; and to agree on additional concrete steps aimed at correcting systemic discrimination in science.’

From the ISC statement on combating systemic racism and other forms of discrimination

Moreover, the ISC invited a core group of international science organizations to convene a global dialogue within and beyond the institutions of science that would gather existing knowledge and agree on additional concrete steps aimed at correcting systemic discrimination in science.

Three meetings of this group have taken place, with partners agreeing on collaborative action to bring together scientists and expert commentators to examine structural and systemic racism and other forms of discrimination in science, and to guide a strategy development process to identify existing forms of discrimination, barriers to change and paths for corrective action.


As part of the ongoing dialogue, the ISC partnered with Falling Walls on two webinars for World Science Week:

Combating Systemic Racism in Science Systems

Forging a more inclusive research ecosystem: a dialogue with key stakeholders, held by Falling Walls in collaboration with Elsevier.


The ISC also started a partnership with Nature’s Working Scientist Podcast to explore what practical steps can be put in place to improve diversity in science workplaces and ways of working, and how organizations such as the ISC can be ‘better allies for better science’. The series aired in 2021.


Image: iStock.

Next up: Regional Open Science Platforms 

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