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The Missing Pages - Season 1 Release

Bringing conversations about race and racism to science classrooms
April 30, 2021

Episode 1: Communicating Science

Featuring Christine Pigeon, Ontario Science Centre, and Randy Herrmann, University of Manitoba

The goal of this project is to highlight science from around the world that disrupts the idea of Eurocentric/Western science. From a historical perspective, experts from academia and communities that are underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) will emphasize that our understanding of science (in a western context) has been shaped by people from outside Europe.

Who Isn't in your Science Textbook?

Through collaboration and consultation with historians, community members and equity experts, a series of five educational videos have been produced. The first episode will be released to the public as part of Science Rendezvous, opens in new window. The video topics include:

  1. Communicating Science: The Science of Paper Making & Science Communication | May 8
  2. Mathematics: The History of Mathematics from South Asia and the Middle East | May 20
  3. Food Systems: Food Security and Sovereignty in Indigenous and Black Communities | May 27
  4. Medical Science: The History of Medical Innovations & Theories | June 3
  5. The Science of Racism: The Response and Legacy of the Eugenics Movement | June 10

Having conversations about racism isn’t part of a typical science lesson. However the past year has clearly shown that staying quiet isn’t an option, and bringing tough conversations into classrooms is imperative.

Science, as a culture and as a community, has a significant role to play in decolonizing and creating safe places for Indigenous and Black communities and all people of colour. As a culture, science is not welcoming to many people outside the typical trope of a white, male scientist. As a community, science has a shameful past of perpetuating racism and bigotry resulting in fear, mistrust and rejection of science.

On the heels of a global pandemic, now is the time to build trust in science among underrepresented communities by acknowledging the past and moving forward together.

The Missing Pages
Videos available May 2021
How do scientists reconcile science's past? How can educators feel empowered to have important and necessary conversations about racism with science students?

One small piece to this puzzle can be realized by re-examining the history of science, math and medicine to celebrate the diverse individuals and communities who have contributed to understanding the world. This project aims to move past the concept of diverse representation to question who is included and who is excluded from science textbooks, and why.

Through this process the idea that Western Science is the only worldview that provides clarity and understanding of the complexities of this world is challenged. Sharing the importance and impact of social science, equity and traditional knowledge can provide a more inclusive understanding of science. Together, this work can provide a framework for students to discuss the realities of racism within STEM.

We look forward to sharing The Missing Pages with you and welcome your feedback! If you are interested in providing feedback on the videos please see our announcement here.

Project Team Members

Headshot of Kausar Panchbhaya
Kausar Panchbhaya

Co-Producer

Kausar is an undergraduate Science student at Ryerson University. Graduating this Spring 2021, she is excited to continue her journey in empowering underrepresented and marginalized groups within STEM through accessible education. Kausar worked as a Science Outreach and Communication Lead at SciXchange for three years, where she collaborated with students and the science community to create impactful, inclusive events and programs. Her previous experience also includes working at the Ontario Science Centre as a Student Host, engaging hundreds of visitors and sparking a curiosity for STEM.

Leigh Headshot
Leigh Paulseth

Co-Producer

Leigh coordinates SciXchange’s science outreach programs at Ryerson University. After completing graduate work in environmental management, Leigh worked in the environmental non-profit sector for 6 years where she developed environmental education and community engagement programs and gained skills in science communication. Recognizing the uniformity within the environmental movement, she joined SciXchange ready to support underrepresented voices in STEM sectors. She has managed Soapbox Science Toronto for 5 years and currently serves on the Let's Talk Science Anti-Racism Task Force.

Kathleen Espiritu
Kat Espiritu

Videographer

Kat is a video producer / director / editor & runs a production company, Wow Great Stuff. She is a graduate of Ryerson University's Image Arts Film program and resides in Toronto when she's not travelling. She has created content for brands such as TD, RBC, BMW, Ontario Tourism, Air Canada, New Balance, XBOX, and Sephora as well as organizations like #MOVETHEDIAL, Not 9 To 5, and Wildlife Conservation Society. She strives to take on meaningful projects that encourage social change & education and is an advocate for hiring more BIPOC women in the film industry.

Advisory Committee

We would like to thank our Advisory Committee for helping us with identification of speakers and final editing of the video content. Our committee included:

  • Dr. Emily Agard, Director, SciXchange
  • Amber Sandy, Coordinator, SciXchange
  • N. J. Dharan, PhD Student, University of Pennsylvania
  • Jenna Barnhardt, Master's Candidate, York University
  • Stephanie Sim, Departmental Assistant, SciXchange