Leading scientific journal says 'racism in science is endemic,' promises 'internship for Black journalists'

The editorial claims that the 'research system has justified racism' through the teaching, funding, and production of knowledge.

Other scientific journals have pursued similar initiatives since the death of George Floyd in May of 2020.

A leading scientific journal claimed that “racism in science is endemic.”

Nature, which publishes research from several disciplines, updated is 2020 statement on George Floyd last month by stating that pledges to “combat racism” are “not enough.”   provided an update on its earlier commitment to stand against “systemic racism.” 

The publication vowed to print a special issue “that examines systemic racism in research,” launch a “news internship for Black journalists,” take further steps to “diversify our authors,” and address the fact that “too few of our editorial staff are people of colour.”

[RELATED: UNCW prioritizes race in new ‘cluster hires’]

However, the editorial also alleged that “racism in science is endemic because the systems that produce and teach scientific knowledge have, for centuries, misrepresented, marginalized and mistreated people of colour and under-represented communities.”

“The research system has justified racism — and, too often, scientists in positions of power have benefited from it,” the editorial continued. “That system includes the organization of research: how it is funded, published and evaluated.”

Therefore, Nature must “thoroughly understand the root causes, even as we seek energetically to remedy the ongoing damage.”

Susie Winter — Director of Communications and Engagement for Nature — told Campus Reform that while Nature believes racism in science is “currently endemic,” it is not necessarily “irredeemably endemic.”

“What is needed though is a large amount of work by Nature as well as other organizations within the research community,” she explained. “This is an important issue that  no one organization or one journal alone can address. We believe for us to see real movement and improvement we all need to work together.”

Other scientific publications are pursuing similar goals and pushing similar claims.

As Campus Reform reported in March, Cell Press — which publishes Cell, Cancer Cell, Molecular Cell, and Trends in Cell Biology — encouraged authors to complete an “inclusion and diversity form” before submitting studies.

[RELATED: Top scientific journal pushes diversity litmus test for would-be authors]

The Cell Press form asked researchers to check boxes if they “worked to ensure gender balance in the recruitment of human subjects” and “worked to ensure ethnic or other types of diversity in the recruitment of human subjects.”

Campus Reform reached out to Nature for further comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft