Christopher Schell discusses racism and discrimination in the field as a Black scientist

Chris Schell

Christopher J. Schell, Ph.D (CEB 2015) is an Assistant Professor in the Sciences and Mathematics Division at the University of Washington, Tacoma.

Christopher Schell, an Assistant Professor of Urban Ecology at the University of Washington is quoted in the  Chicago Sun-Times on the challenges of being a field scientist while Black. Schell received his PhD from the Committee on Evolutionary Biology in 2015. 

“I wear the nerdiest glasses I have and often a jacket that has my college logo, so that people don’t mistake me for what they think is a thug or hooligan,” said Schell, who is African American.

The recent episode of a white woman calling the police on a Black birder in New York’s Central Park shocked many people. But, for Black environmental scientists, worrying about whether they are likely to be harassed or asked to justify their presence while doing fieldwork is a familiar concern. Read more about how researchers in the environmental sciences are raising issues of discrimination, marginalization and the way a lack of diversity among scientists can lead to flawed research here.

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