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In Recognition of Juneteenth

Published June 19, 2020

In Recognition of Juneteenth

The New York Academy of Sciences joins Americans across the country in recognizing the tremendous importance of Juneteenth as a commemoration of the emancipation of Black Americans from slavery. We do so in solidarity with people everywhere who are protesting against structural racism.

The protests following the killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans by police show the depth of public outrage against the violence and discrimination faced every day by Black people in the United States.

The Academy’s mission of promoting scientific education and research, and of advocating for science in the making of policy, make it necessary for us to acknowledge the extent to which science is embedded within and part of virtually every aspect of society. The relationship between the biology of infectious disease and social outcomes in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic is just one example. For several months we have been witnessing a differential impact of the virus on Black Americans and other people of color.

Science and technology have played a role in the widespread response to the killings. While this kind of violence has long been documented, the transmission of cell phone footage around the world has made that violence more visible, to more people, everywhere.

In supporting science and its practitioners, promoting science-based decision-making, and increasing science literacy, the Academy is committed to advancing equity, justice, and inclusion. As we pay our respect to Juneteenth as a holiday marking an important turning point in our history, we recognize how much remains to be done to eliminate racism. We pledge to reflect, recommit, and join our fellow citizens in working to rectify injustice and to achieve a more equitable society.