The community of scientists at Nevis Laboratories firmly believes that the value of human life should not be affected by race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, language, background, or socioeconomic status. As the continued systemic oppression and senseless murders of Black Americans indicates, we live in a society that operates otherwise. We observe that institutional systematic racism is real and demonstrative, on a national scale as well as within our physics community. We therefore take the opportunity to express our solidarity with ongoing efforts to address issues of racial injustice within the physics community and reaffirm our values:
Implementing these values into concrete actions requires acknowledgement and education not only on Black and Brown underrepresentation, but on white privilege in academia as well. These realities are heavily linked to systemic racism in our society and its effects, including the underfunding of education in Black and Brown neighborhoods, conscious and unconscious bias in academic and non-academic hiring and admission procedures, and the pervasive history of racism in the United States. It is our responsibility as the scientific community to address these issues, not only within our own institutions, but also on a broader societal level.
These values and beliefs are in line with recent statements from Columbia University leadership, including President Lee Bollinger and the Office of University Life and we thank the university for being vocal in these challenging times. At Nevis Laboratories, we consider these recent tragic events to be a permanent call to action. Our aim is to maintain an open dialogue, brainstorm and implement actions to eliminate systematic racism in our institution, and continue to work towards equality in our professional and personal environments.