Statement on Racism

The undersigned members of the faculty of the Astronomy Department add their voices to those decrying the tragic and senseless recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks, as well as the many other acts of violence inflicted on Black Americans for far too long. Our academic and scientific communities must be free of racism in all forms, and we acknowledge that too often we have fallen short of this goal. The consequences are far and wide, and include the continued underrepresentation of Black and historically marginalized people within our scientific fields, as well as within our department and research centers. New action is needed. As we strive to build a welcoming, open, and supportive environment for all, we commit to fighting racism in all that we do and to educating ourselves to think and act as true anti-racists.  In the coming months, the Astronomy faculty will re-examine our academic programs, admissions, and recruitment, in coordination with the Boston University Office of Diversity and Inclusion, to address through action the underrepresentation of minority individuals in our scientific field and locally in our department. Further, we endorse and recommend the statements on these issues by Boston President Robert Brown (linked here with an update linked here), Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Stan Sclaroff (linked here), and our professional scientific societies: the American Astronomical Society and its Divisions (linked here), and the American Geophysical Union  (linked here).


Thomas M. Bania, Professor
Elizabeth Blanton, Associate Professor and Director of the Institute for Astrophysical Research
Tereasa Brainerd, Associate Professor
John Clarke, Professor and Director of the Center for Space Physics
Dan P. Clemens, Professor and Chair
Catherine Espaillat, Associate Professor
J.J. Hermes, Assistant Professor
W. Jeffrey Hughes, Professor
Wen Li, Assistant Professor
Alan Marscher, Professor
Carlos Martinis, Research Assistant Professor
Michael Mendillo, Professor
Philip Muirhead, Assistant Professor
Merav Opher, Professor
Meers M. Oppenheim, Professor
Paul Withers, Associate Professor