Department Statement on Race and Racism
The faculty of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences agree that Black lives matter. We offer our perspective as biologists:
All humans are united by the biology of our common ancestry. Genetic variation contributes substantially to observable and important differences between people, yet genomic analyses of human populations unambiguously affirm that we are all members of a single human species. Race does not provide an accurate representation of our species’ biological variation. It was never accurate in the past, and it remains inaccurate when referencing contemporary human populations. No group of people is, or ever has been, biologically homogeneous or “pure.” Furthermore, human populations are not — and never have been — biologically discrete, truly isolated, or fixed. Human racial categories do not have roots in biological reality, but in policies of discrimination. We recognize that the history of our discipline is not separate from the injustices of racism, and that the effects of institutional racism persist. We pledge anti-racist thought and action in ourselves and in our teaching as we work to grow a more diverse community of scientists.