Curiosity and the end of discrimination

  • Nature Astronomy 1, Article number: 0145 (2017)
  • doi:10.1038/s41550-017-0145
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Systemic discrimination on the basis of gender and race, among other ascribed identities, harms minoritized people. This is a structural problem in society, and astronomy is not immune to it. Although we talk about the challenges faced by ‘women and minorities’, it is all too rare to acknowledge intersecting realities: some of us are minority women and our experiences are different from both white women and minority men, with sexism and racism compounding in nonlinear ways. Confronting the challenges associated with invoking an intersectional analysis can be daunting if the mainstream community continues to ignore helpful work from the social sciences, which can teach us new ways of understanding how we produce scientific knowledge. Rather than failing to question how science is done, we should let curiosity be our guide.

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Author information


  1. Department of Physics, University of Washington, Box 351560, Seattle, Washington 98195-1560, USA.

    • Chanda Prescod-Weinstein


  1. Search for Chanda Prescod-Weinstein in:

Competing interests

The author declares no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Chanda Prescod-Weinstein.