Responding and navigating racialized microaggressions in STEM

Pathog Dis. 2021 Jun 3;79(5):ftab027. doi: 10.1093/femspd/ftab027.


While it is commonly thought that microaggressions are isolated incidents, microaggressions are ingrained throughout the academic research institution (Young, Anderson and Stewart 2015; Lee et al. 2020). Persons Excluded from science because of Ethnicity and Race (PEERs) frequently experience microaggressions from various academicians, including graduate students, postdocs and faculty (Asai 2020; Lee et al. 2020). Here, we elaborate on a rationale for concrete actions to cope with and diminish acts of microaggressions that may otherwise hinder the inclusion of PEERs. We encourage Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) departments and leadership to affirm PEER scholar identities and promote allyship by infusing sensitivity, responsiveness and anti-bias awareness.

Keywords: STEM; environmental microaggressions; microaggressions; microassaults; microinsults; microinvalidations.

MeSH terms

  • Engineering
  • Humans
  • Mathematics
  • Microaggression*
  • Racism / prevention & control*
  • Science / organization & administration*
  • Students
  • Technology
  • Universities