Back to the letter

Thursday, December 11, 2015

A call was made to the Equity & Inclusion in Physics & Astronomy facebook page, to respond to comments made by Chief Justice John Roberts during the ongoing Fisher vs. University of Texas case.

NPR: Heated Arguments Fly At Supreme Court Over Race in College Admissions

Already, many leaders within STEM fields and bloggers had responded individually to the comments made by both Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia.

Andrew Rosenberg, from The Union of Concerned Scientists
Jedidah Isler on Storify
Scales of Scalia: A Pragmatic Assessment of Judicial Bias
There is no remedial physics
The subtle yet real racism of the Supreme Court

Friday, December 12, 2015

In collaboration with several members, a letter was drafted and disseminated via Google forms to petition signatures. Within one hour, 75 signatures were collected.

Monday, December 14, 2015

By Monday morning, over 2000 signatures were collected.

At 3:30 PM EST, a total of 2419 unique signatures were printed with the letter; this came to 33 pages of signatures, footnote sized and in two column format.

Eight copies were mailed in total, addressed to each Justice hearing the case.

The Google form was closed at 5:30 PM EST.

Two news outlets picked up the story. Actual scientists speak out to defend affirmative action
Jezebel: Scientists combat Scalia's recent arguments against affirmative action

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Gawker: Physicists reject notion that racial and gender diversity have no value in science

Sam Aronson, president of the American Physical Society drafts a response to the statements made during the Supreme Court case. The statement is endorsed by the Paul Gueye, President of the National Society of Black Physicists.

Statement on Diversity in Physics from APS President Sam Aronson

May 13, 2016

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) released a statement

Statement on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

"In this statement, we respond to the Court’s questions and statements by drawing on perspectives and research findings from physicists, educators, education researchers, and related professionals. Herein, we affirm that:
1. racism and sexism exist in physics and physics education;
2. homogeneity in physics is the byproduct of racism and sexism;
3. Affirmative Action is an important counter-measure to institutional racism and sexism in physics;
4. making physics more inclusive and supportive of women and people of color is required for doing excellent physics;
5. increasing diversity is a matter of justice; and,
6. women and people of color do not need to justify their presence in physics classrooms."