Statues: learn from mistakes

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I am disheartened that Nature has apparently joined the chorus of tone-deaf statements on race and racism in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (see Editorial, correction and apology: Nature 549, 56; 2017). Your unsigned article may have done real damage to science and to marginalized minority scientists who need the support of the institutions of power. It is white privilege at its height.

I hope you will institute a set of policies to ensure that racially charged pieces, such as this “whitewashing” one, go through a more thorough review process (ideally by scientists of colour) before publishing them.

It is critically important not to erase your mis-step, which, uncorrected, stood as a clear example of institutionalized racism. If we are to move to a more mature phase of equity, you need to learn from it and prevent its repeat.

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  1. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

    • Kim M. Cobb

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