Washington Update

Nobel Prize: Tall on History But Short on Diversity

By: Debra L. Bouyer
Wednesday, February 24, 2021

In the 1950s, the Civil Rights Movement was born out of peaceful protests led by the Black community calling for equal rights. While some progress has been made, racial injustices continue to plague the Black community. Black Lives Matter is our modern-day Civil Rights Movement. Since its inception in 2013, Black Lives Matter has grown to be more than a hashtag. This now global movement led to calls for systemic change, forcing organizations to acknowledge the racial disparities that persist in our society and take discrete actions to promote racial equity. To send a powerful message “that peace is founded on equality, solidarity, and human rights,” a Norwegian lawmaker nominated Black Lives Matter for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.

Since its inception in 1901, the Nobel Prizes are regarded as the most prestigious global recognition bestowed on individuals for their intellectual achievements. Despite the countless examples of Black Americans who have made significant contributions to science, none has received the Nobel Prize for their achievements. The lack of representation can be attributed to the underwhelming ratio of Black scientists when compared to their white counterparts. This is further exacerbated with the racial funding disparity that continues to impede the success of Black scientists.

FASEB recognizes this narrative needs to change. In our continued effort to drive diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion in the biomedical research community, FASEB strives to change the landscape within biological and biomedical sciences through targeted recruitment initiatives, innovative programming and professional development opportunities for PhD candidates and postdoctoral scholars from underrepresented communities.