AIP to Fund Programs Combating Racial Injustice, Inequities in Physics, Physical Sciences

News Release

“AIP will continue to create positive change toward eliminating racial injustice in our science fields.”

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2020 -- The American Institute of Physics has established a $200,000 fund to support efforts by its 10 member societies and an AIP affiliated society, the National Society of Black Physicists, for actions that are a direct response to racial injustice.

The AIP 2020-2021 Diversity Action Fund will have a special focus on society actions for Black students in the physical sciences, as well as programs focused on minority communities.

The board of directors approved the Diversity Action Fund as another step in addressing racial inequities in the physical sciences that were outlined in the AIP TEAM-UP report, “The Time Is Now: Systemic Changes to Increase African Americans with Bachelor’s Degrees in Physics and Astronomy.”

The 2020 report calls for action against long-standing, systemic and cultural issues within the physics and astronomy communities contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in these fields. The report makes important, actionable recommendations for communitywide efforts to reverse this trend.

“This action by the board reaffirms its dedication to broad diversity and equity in the physical sciences. Strengthening the sense of belonging for all students in our fields will lead to a more diverse, productive and innovative community,” said Michael Moloney, CEO of AIP. “In addition to establishing workshops to help implement recommendations from the TEAM-UP report, the diversity fund is another step in empowering our societies to be more welcoming and supportive of the full diversity of physical scientists. AIP will continue to create positive opportunities toward eliminating racial injustice in our science fields.”

The workshops will bring together member society and agency representatives to develop strategic implementation plans along the lines of those outlined in the TEAM-UP report. The outcome of the workshops will be a collaborative plan to achieve the primary goal of doubling the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to African Americans each year in physics and astronomy to approximately 500 per year by 2030.

With more than 1,000 new downloads of the TEAM-UP report on June 10 (#ShutDownSTEM Day), it is encouraging to see the continued interest of the physical sciences community in ways to create systemic change and keep the momentum going.


About American Institute of Physics

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) is a 501(c)(3) membership corporation of scientific societies. AIP pursues its mission—to advance, promote, and serve the physical sciences for the benefit of humanity—with a unifying voice of strength from diversity. In its role as a federation, AIP advances the success of its Member Societies by providing the means to pool, coordinate, and leverage their diverse expertise and contributions in pursuit of a shared goal of advancing the physical sciences in the research enterprise, in the economy, in education, and in society. In its role as an institute, AIP operates as a center of excellence using policy analysis, social science, and historical research to promote future progress in the physical sciences.


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