Scientists discuss the importance of building antiracist labs

Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe works in her lab
Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, a professor of soil biogeochemistry at the University of California, Merced, investigates the effects of disturbances like erosion, fire and climate change on soil organic matter. (Asmeret Asefaw Berhe)

By Marisa Sloan
Medill Reports

Racial and ethnic diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) remains low, causing many academic leaders to seek guidance on how they can make their own labs more equitable and inclusive.

A new paper, published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology last month, provides just that.

Co-authors Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe and Dr. Bala Chaudhary sat down to discuss their “ten simple rules for creating an antiracist lab” — rules that range from leading informed discussions about racism in the lab to supporting Black, Indigenous, and students of color in their efforts to organize mentorship networks — and why they are needed more than ever right now.

A protest sound bite was used with the permission of Natalie Eilbert.

Marisa Sloan is a health, environment and science reporter at Medill. You can follow her on Twitter at @sloan_marisa.