What is it about?

90% of the respondents to our online survey said that the contributions of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) scientists are not highlighted adequately in the English national curriculum; 85% of the participants believed that the national curriculum should be revised to include the achievements of under-represented scientists. We describe how we addressed this by co-creating (with UG students) teacher resources to highlight the contributions of under-represented scientists.

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Why is it important?

There is a leaky pipeline of the progression of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students to studies beyond a 1st degree and to positions of seniority in this country. By providing examples of the achievements of BAME scientists we hope to provide role models and inspire a new generation of BAME students to aim higher.


I feel a burning passion to correct the injustice when radio cricket commentators were discussing, during a rain break, the origin of the invention of the incandescent light bulb that would lead to the development of floodlights for a day-night international fixture in the summer of 2019. At school we are taught the invention of the light bulb is attributed solely to Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) and the crucial contribution of Lewis Howard Latimer (1848-1928), an African-American inventor, the son of slaves, in inventing the carbon filament that made the light bulb a useful device is not mentioned. Thus, students in primary, secondary and higher education in the UK are typically taught that scientists are ‘white’ and ‘male’ and the huge contributions made by women and members of minoritized communities are overlooked or not given prominence.

Dr Tippu S Sheriff
Queen Mary University of London

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Highlighting the Contributions of Minoritized Chemists in the Chemistry Curriculum, Journal of Chemical Education, October 2023, American Chemical Society (ACS),
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.2c00771.
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