Juneteenth in STEMM and the barriers to equitable science

Recently, the United States designated Juneteenth as a new federal holiday, which celebrates freedom of the last large body of enslaved Black Americans following the American Civil War. However, the impact of chattel slavery persists: Black scientists face many obstacles to attaining an education and persisting in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM). In this Commentary by Mays et al., 52 Black scientists establish the context of Juneteenth in STEMM and discuss the barriers Black scientists face, the struggles they endure, and the lack of recognition they receive. They review racism’s history in science and provide institutional-level solutions to reduce the burdens on Black scientists. Specific recommendations include increasing recognition of the value of and labor involved in supporting students through mentoring, greater representation of people of marginalized identities in positions of power including review and editorial boards, and cultural humility in mentoring and institutions. (Summary by Mary Williams @PlantTeaching) Cell 10.1016/j.cell.2023.05.016