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Black Lives Matter

The death of George Floyd in police custody has sparked mass protests across the USA – not just to condemn acts of police brutality against the Black community, but also the systemic racism that underscores them. Chemistry societies have released statements condemning these injustices, and though some have been welcomed by the scientific community, others have been criticized on social media for their inadequacy.

Here, we share statements from the (analytical) chemistry field and invite you to share your thoughts on equality in science.

American Chemical Society

“The tragic killing of George Floyd, the latest in a string of similar acts of violence, has elicited raw emotions, ranging from sadness to extreme anger, across the U.S. and around the globe.

“Diversity, Inclusion and Respect” is a core value of the American Chemical Society (ACS). As a global organization representing a diverse scientific community, we recognize that when we honor one another’s differences and talents, we strengthen humanity’s ability to advance solutions to our greatest global challenges. As collaboration is essential to scientific advancement, so it is also for human progress.

Injustice, discrimination, and harassment are at odds with our core value, and ACS joins with many of its partner scientific organizations in condemning these acts and the recent violence that has erupted over the last few days. While anger and outrage are understandable, peaceful protests are the most powerful tools to bring about needed change.

ACS urges its members to take stock of this tragic incident, and resolve to use their science and talents in peaceful and tolerant collaborations with others.

We are in this together. We are all responsible for accountability to lead to positive change.”

American Society for Mass Spectrometry

“ASMS Reboot is off to a strong start, but many of us are finding it difficult to be fully present at this trying time in our country. We watch recent events with sadness and disappointment, recognizing that our country has a long way to go in treating all with respect and celebrating diversity and inclusiveness. ASMS actively supports diversity, inclusiveness, and respect of all individuals. ASMS joins other scientific organizations in condemning acts of violence and encouraging all to work together for a better future.”

Richard A. Yost, ASMS President  |  On behalf of the ASMS Board of Directors

Royal Society of Chemistry (Twitter Thread)

“We stand with Black people everywhere. Racism exists in science and needs action to eradicate it.


We commit to doing more to make chemistry more equal and accessible for black people, and all people.

Racism remains a live issue and calls to our bullying and harassment support line evidences that.

If you experience or witness racial abuse please call our confidential line for impartial support.

We are committed to research and action to understand and overcome the barriers that prevent black people from following successful careers in chemistry.

Through our I&D team and committee, we will work with the community to drive positive change.”

Please feel free to add your thoughts on equality in science in the comments section below or by emailing me directly at [email protected]

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About the Author

Matthew Hallam

I've always wanted a career in which I could practice my creativity, even when I worked on the assembly line in a fish factory. At one time, I channeled this need into dance, drawing, poetry and fiction, and I still do most of these things. But, following completion of my MSc(Res) in Translational Oncology and time working in labs and as a Medical Writer for major pharmaceutical companies, I'm happy to find myself in a career that allows me to combine my creative side with my scientific mind as the Editor of The Analytical Scientist.

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