People sometimes see me talking about sexism/racism/homophobia/etc in academic science and say I should instead “focus on the science.” As though science is carried out by magical science robots who are immune to human failings and biases. As though scientists in underrepresented groups can just “focus on the science” while being constantly reminded (subtly or blatantly) that they “don’t belong” in academia. I talk about equity because I care about making a scientific career a possibility for anyone with a passion for science. I care about the possibility that a future generation of scientists just might have a chance of entering a field in which their contributions to science are valued rather than belittled. And I care about all the science we lose when people from underrepresented groups leave or are pushed out by a hostile academic culture.

So, no, I won’t just “focus on the science” at the expense of actual human scientists. I will keep talking about the ways we can make scientific culture better and more welcoming to anyone who has a contribution to make. Sometimes that means pointing out things that are not okay. Sometimes it means asking people who are members of the majority demographic to change their behaviors to accommodate people who are not. You don’t have to agree with me on everything I say, but you’re not going to get me to stop talking — about science, or about how to make science better for everyone.
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