Black History Month

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Shirley Jackson on a tour of a USNRC facility.

Illustration by Abigal Malate, American Institute of Physics

Diversity, equity and inclusion are essential components to the success of our fields. In recognition of that fact, the American Institute of Physics adopted a Strategic Framework to “advance the physical sciences with a unifying voice of strength from diversity.”  

In January, 2020, AIP’s TEAM-UP Task Force released its groundbreaking report, “The Time is Now: Systemic Changes to Increase African Americans with Bachelor’s Degrees in Physics and Astronomy.”  TEAM-UP uncovered long-term systemic issues within the physics and astronomy communities that contribute to the underrepresentation of African Americans in these fields and makes important, actionable recommendations for community-wide efforts to reverse this trend. The TEAM-UP project continues today with workshops, webinars, and several efforts to help physics and astronomy departments implement the TEAM-UP Report’s recommendations and develop action plans for systemic change. 

During February, AIP is highlighting resources and materials that celebrate the accomplishments of African-American scientists. We hope to inform and inspire in the process. Be sure to follow our channels and feel free to join in on the conversation. 


Interview with Evelynn Hammonds, the Barbara Gutman Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and Professor of African and African-American Studies at Harvard University, who speaks about racial diversity in physics, and what needs to change in the scientific community to achieve greater diversity. Hammonds is the first African-American and the first woman ever to become a Dean of Harvard College.

Interview with James Edward Maceo West, African American inventor, acoustician, and research professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. He is a co-inventor of the electret microphone.