Gov’t Gives $229K For Study on Racial Microaggressions in Science

Eric Scheiner | May 22, 2017

The National Science Foundation has awarded $229,061 of taxpayer money to the University of Georgia for a study on microaggressions in science education.

“This project will examine ways to broaden participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) for science education faculty of African ancestry and science education Latino/a faculty,” according to the grant abstract.

Professor Dr. Mary Atwater is the Principal Investigator of the “Exploring Racial Microagression in Science Education” project.

(Dr. Mary Atwater Photo: University of Georgia)

"There has been little research in this area in science education," said Atwater in a University of Georgia news release. "In fact, there is very little microaggression research that has been done in which the participants are people of European American descent."

The grant abstract details the goals of the research, “The research will (a) identify actions or activities that might be precursors of or lead to microaggressions; (b) seek to better understand why the microaggresssors might be aware or unaware of their acts; and (c) collect data about approaches and policies that have been used by colleagues and administrators to minimize racial microaggressions.”

"Racism can function at different levels and appear in many forms," said Atwater. "When people act on their prejudices and they are powerful, then that's when you can have very negative effects. Microaggression can have an impact on students and faculty members in science education."

The project started in March and is estimated to conclude by the end of February 2019.

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