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Special Friday Noon Talk
Where are all the black folk in astronomy?
Date: Friday, October 23rd
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Professor John Johnson , Harvard CfA
Abstract: Decades of diversity programs in STEM have had little to no impact on the racial demographics of astronomy and physics. Today, astronomy departments take an average of 30 years to graduate a Black or Latino PhD student, and the average PhD rate is 0.5 per year. The astronomy professoriate is only 1% Black, 1% Latino and 0% Native. I argue that aiming at diversity is the wrong approach. In order to explore better strategies, I will lead an interactive discussion with the audience, starting with the definition of four seemingly simple words. With the proper vocabulary in hand, I will provide a brief history of race in America that has led to the peculiar present-day racial makeup of our field.<br><br>
Host: Professor Eric Wilcots
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