In honor of Black History Month, we sat down with professionals in the industry to hear about their experiences and celebrate their unique achievements in the life sciences. First, we took a look at historical contributions made by Black scientists. 

Then – Black Scientists’ Achievements Throughout History

Science itself is a creative process. Solutions to scientific problems do not arise out of thin air but instead arise from scientists as creative agents who bring their whole personalities and all of their talents and life experiences to bear on the problem at hand.

ASBMBToday, February 2016

To learn more about other Black scientists who made important achievements throughout history, view a History of Black Scientists presented by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). The historical timeline shows the remarkable contributions of pioneers made over centuries.


Now – An Interview With Today’s Scientists

“Diversity is recognizing that while we are all the same, we are also all unique.” 

ASBMBToday, February 2016

What are you hopeful for in 2021?

“I’m hopeful for new opportunities. I’m hopeful for gaining new relationships and strengthening those I already have. I am hopeful to take risks. I’m trying to challenge myself this year to go outside of my comfort zone, to put myself out there and try things that I might have been hesitant about before.”

Jade Mondesir, Project Manager Manufacturing Support, Siemens Healthineers

Read the full interview here.

How are you planning to celebrate Black History Month?

“For me, some of the celebration is going to come from talking with students about what Black people have done in the Sciences, talking about contributions that we’ve made as patients and as researchers. I want to make sure that I don’t only talk about Black scientists during Black History Month but continue to work to incorporate Black scientists into my curriculum so that it is just a part of the conversation year-round.”

Andre Williams, Biotechnology Instructor, East Boston High School

Read the full interview here.

Who would you say are some of your role models?

“Both of my parents made me want to get into the medical field and give back to others in a positive way. Throughout my career in biotech, every leader that I’ve had the privilege to work with has had an impact on me and my growth. I’ve always tried to remain teachable and coachable and seek to learn from all of my peers, and all the folks I work with.”

Lance Holland, Associate Director, External Vector Manufacturing, bluebird bio

Read the full interview here.

While it is motivating to see companies formalizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, there is much more to do to create an equal and sustainable workforce. What is clear is that we must continue to celebrate and encourage diversity within the industry to ensure advancement and continued success. Visit MassBio’s Diversity and Inclusion for resources and more.

Sources:

Biography.com
Lemelson MIT Inventors Archive
Scientific Women.net
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology