NSB Statement

NSB Statement on Racism in
Science & Engineering

June 9, 2020

The Members of the National Science Board (NSB) are deeply saddened by the senseless killing of George Floyd and the pain and suffering to his family. During this period of national reflection, we grieve with all families that suffered under similar circumstances and stand firm in condemning the racism that these acts highlight. We recognize that racism is persistent, including in the science and engineering (S&E) environment, and that inequities continue to limit the participation and the potential of Black people.

As the governing board of the National Science Foundation and stewards of the U.S. S&E enterprise, NSB is convinced that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to our country’s health, security, and prosperity. In our recently released Vision 2030 for our country’s S&E enterprise, our commitment to these values is at the core of our roadmap to increase domestic STEM talent.  As illustrated in our 2019 Science & Engineering Labor Force report, progress in creating a diverse and inclusive S&E enterprise has not kept pace with demographic trends or with the increasing centrality of S&E to our economy and job opportunities. In particular, although increasing numbers of Black people have obtained degrees and occupations in STEM over the last two decades, they are still woefully underrepresented compared to their proportions in the general population. 

We strongly call for increased inclusion of Black people in S&E at all levels, from the classroom to the research lab to the boardroom, with opportunities to participate, lead, and thrive. We recognize the unique legacy and  important role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in contributing to the S&E research enterprise and in educating future STEM leaders, and we commit to increased support for research at HBCUs, including through existing programs where NSF has been an influential agent for positive change. As the NSB implements our Vision 2030 plan, we will act intentionally to remove barriers and ensure that the U.S. S&E environment is one in which all are respected and valued.    


About the National Science Board

The National Science Board and the National Science Foundation's Director jointly head NSF. NSB identifies issues critical to NSF's future and establishes the agency’s policies within the framework of applicable national policies set forth by the President and the Congress. The Board also serves as an independent body of advisors to both the President and the Congress on policy matters related to science and engineering and education in science and engineering. NSB’s 24 members are appointed by the President for six-year terms and selected for their eminence in research, education and records of distinguished service. 


Media Contact: Nadine Lymn, National Science Board, (703) 292-2490, nlymn@nsf.gov


The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2020 budget of $8.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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