Statement in Response to the Recent Supreme Court Ruling
We are deeply concerned about the impacts of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization and the resulting immediate ban on all non-medically necessary abortions in the state of Missouri with no exemptions for rape or incest. This ruling will have grave impacts on members of WashU and our department, who through this ruling have lost an essential civil liberty and are now exposed to severe risks. We strongly believe that bodily autonomy is a nonnegotiable human right and that the decision to end a pregnancy only lies with the involved individual and their medical professional.
We believe that as a university community, we have means to lessen the impact of this ruling, and we are thus working with the Association for Women Faculty and other organizations to better understand how to proceed. In the meantime, we would like to express our unconditional support for every member of WashU who finds themself in need of support given these circumstances. We encourage individuals in need to contact the Physics DEI committee and we will be glad to help in whatever way needed.
Please also see the related message from Chancellor Martin.
- Statement in Support of the Asian American Pacific Islander Communities
- Statement in Support of Ukraine
The Physics Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee is focused on furthering diversity and on creating a welcoming and inclusive climate where everyone can thrive and be academically successful. We are especially invested in increasing the population of underrepresented groups in physics and in actively promoting a cultural change within our department and the larger field of stem.
The committee includes representatives from undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, and all levels of faculty. Everyone in the department is welcome to provide input through email, via in person/zoom meetings, as well as through the anonymous inclusion feedback form. The committee presents at departmental gatherings and organizes informational and training events. Meetings between the committee and similar committees in other departments are aimed at establishing best practices and coordinating across departments.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Action Plan
- Improve recruitment and retention strategies for underrepresented graduate and undergraduate students in physics
- Provide suggestions for inclusive online, hybrid, and hyflex teaching. Please check out the recommendations compiled by the Center for Teaching and Learning
- Work with the department to include a track for physics majors with low or limited previous exposure to physics/calculus, and to develop a PairUP program aimed at increasing communication among first year undergraduates and the rest of the department
- Work on creating/finding summer research fellowships, scholarship possibilities for underrepresented students and scholars in physics
- Prepare code of conducts and policies to help facilitate the cultural change and the development of an inclusive and anti-bias working and learning environment
- Organize community events for women and URMs in physics
- Support our international colleagues and create the best environment for all
- Work with the campus wide diversity committee to make sure STEM departments achieve a diverse student, faculty, and staff body in which everybody can thrive and develop to their full potential
- Support underrepresented groups in physics in all aspects of their academic pursuits