Today, in all corners of our nation, attention has been focused on a long-standing problem that pervades all of American society, including its educational and scientific institutions — the problem of embedded, structural racism. Our nation is gripped by protests against the latest in a long and shameful history of incidents of racist violence against black Americans. We grieve with our fellow citizens who have had to live with fear, oppression, and injustice for centuries. All of us at NCSE are inspired by the tens of thousands of Americans putting their bodies at risk to raise their voices in protest.
The overriding goal of the National Center for Science Education is to ensure that every student in every American school has access to an effective, accurate, and inspiring education in the sciences. Many obstacles have stood in the way of this goal, including unreasoning and doctrinaire opposition to the findings of many branches of science. Throughout its history, NCSE has fought to remove these obstacles and ensure that all students learn to think critically about evidence and reject flawed and misleading arguments.
Science tells us that racism is based on a lie — the lie that there are meaningful biological differences among humans that correspond to the color of our skin. While we acknowledge that there are real biological consequences to the lived experience of race, evolution reminds us that the genetic variation within groups we designate as races is significantly larger than the variation between those groups. Evolution tells us that we are 99.9% the same at the level or our DNA.
Science education can be a force for good; for unifying rather than dividing. Towards that end, we at NCSE resolve to support educational and scientific professionals fighting racism and educational inequality at every level of our society. Specifically, we commit to expanding our efforts to provide science teachers with the resources and learning opportunities needed to help their students dismantle misconceptions about race. Our common future depends upon it.