Dasgupta on National Academies Committee to Advance Anti-Racism in STEM

The interdisciplinary group of experts will offer best practices to foster DEI in organizations

Psychological and Brain Sciences Professor Nilanjana Dasgupta has been appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Advancing Antiracism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in STEM Organizations.

This prominent interdisciplinary team of experts is tasked with reviewing the literature on bias and racism in STEM workplaces; finding ways to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) throughout society; and exploring future research in the field.

Buju Dasgupta posing in Durfee greenhouse
Nilanjana Dasgupta

As a committee member, Dasgupta says her role will be to serve as a connector to communities “who are underrepresented in STEM, whose voices are not adequately represented in existing research. They may be people who entered STEM pathways but left because their needs weren't supported, or those who persisted in STEM but whose numbers are small and not adequately highlighted in existing peer-reviewed research on barriers and solutions to STEM participation.”She adds, “Our goal as an interdisciplinary committee is to synthesize existing research and lived experiences of racial and ethnic minorities in STEM in order to highlight promising anti-racist practices, programs, and policies that break down barriers, create culture change, and promote the success of underrepresented people in STEM higher education.”

National Academies reports are known to set the national agenda and inform funding priorities at federal agencies and foundations. “These reports also inform practices and policies at universities, professional societies, and employers to create antiracist cultures in STEM organizations,” says Dasgupta.

A leader in research on implicit bias, Dasgupta focuses on identifying ways in which changes in local situations modify people’s implicit attitudes, beliefs, and behavior. She is director of the Institute of Diversity Sciences, whose aim is to boost STEM research that tackles social problems related to equity and social justice to attract diverse students and faculty across the university and five colleges by creating a dynamic diverse intellectual ecosystem.

Referring to the Committee’s task, she says, “We want our consensus report to produce change on a national scale where educational institutions, funding agencies, and STEM employers work in tandem so that this nation can live up to its promise of equal opportunity for all and expand scientific innovation by bringing in fresh voices and ideas.”