Project on Race & Gender in Science & Medicine

The Project on Race & Gender in Science & Medicine (RGSM) will provide an intellectual and epistemological base for understanding how scientific, medical and technological ideas and practices contribute to and construct notions of difference in our multi-racial, multi-ethnic society.

The Project will accomplish this mission by producing rigorous analyses addressing the persistent under-representation of racial/ethnic minorities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields; facilitating transdisciplinary scholarship on science, technology, and medicine within African-American Studies, Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, and other disciplines within the academy; generating more theoretically sophisticated historical scholarship on race/ethnicity and gender in science and medicine; providing undergraduate and graduate research opportunities via participation in RGSM projects; and promoting greater public understanding of the increasingly complex relationship between science, technology, medicine and society by fostering dialogue among and between biomedical researchers, engineers, humanists, social scientists, and the public.


“One may say in answer to all this: so what?  After all, there are plenty of  white men who can be trained as scientists.  Why crowd the field with Negroes who certainly can find other socially necessary work?  But the point is that ability and genius are strangely catholic in their tastes, regard no color line or racial inheritance.  They occur here, there everywhere, without rule or reason.  The nation suffers that disregards them.  There is ability in the Negro race-- a great deal of unusual and extraordinary ability, undiscovered, unused and unappreciated.  And in no line of work is ability so much needed today as in science.”

-W. E. B. Du Bois, “The Negro Scientist” (1939)

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