More than 4,000 scientists and some scientific organizations, as well as universities and academic journals such as Nature and others, have stopped research activities on June 10 to reflect and take action on systemic inequalities in science . Organizations that joined the strike include the physical science preprint server arXiv, which discourages authors from submitting manuscripts on Wednesday.
The event is held by two groups using hashtags such as # Strike4BlackLives, #ShutDownSTEM, and #ShutDownAcademia.
The event comes after two weeks of demonstrations in the United States and around the world, to commemorate the deaths of George Floyd and other African Americans who have been killed by the police.
Black scientists have mourned these losses by openly sharing their experiences with racism in science , and many leading scientific organizations have posted public messages of support for the Black Lives Matter movement and against racism in general.
Brittany Kamai , a physicist at the University of California at Santa Cruz and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, had the idea to suspend her academic work last Monday and sent an email to a group of colleagues who supported the initiative. These included Chanda Prescod-Weinstein , a cosmologist at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, who is part of Particles For Justice, and Yilen Gómez Maqueo Chew , an astrophysicist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City. They all launched ShutDownStem.com on June 5, along with a letter and petition on ParticlesForJustice.org .
Although the movement began in the United States, it has spread rapidly throughout the world.
However, some critics of this event argue that science should not be politicized in this way and should be further marginalized from activism on non-strictly scientific issues .