Colorado College astrophysics professor Natalie Gosnell says her field is engrossed in “white supremacy” and sexism, adding that language used to describe the cosmos is “very violent and hyper-masculine.”
Gosnell, who is dismayed over society separating “math” and “creativity” into two categories, says dichotomizing these two characteristics is rooted in systemic racism and sexism, according to a report by Colorado College News.
“As an astrophysicist, I’m a product of institutions that are steeped in systemic racism and white supremacy,” Gosnell told the student newspaper.
“The tenets of white supremacy that show up [in physics] of individualism and exceptionalism and perfectionism… it’s either-or thinking, and there’s no subtlety, there’s no gray area,” the professor added. “All of this manifests in the way that we think about our research, and what counts as good research, what counts as important research?”
Colorado College News concurred, adding that “most of Gosnell’s career has been dictated by the hyper-masculine world of astrophysics.”