The Society for Personality and Social Psychology has signed on to two letters against the September 22, 2020 Executive Order (EO) on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping. Read the excerpt below, and click the attached documents for the complete statements:

We the undersigned strongly oppose the September 22, 2020 Executive Order (EO) on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping. We believe it to be destructive, misguided, misleading, and brazen in its usage of civil rights imagery and language to justify its position. First and foremost, it is crucial to understand that although the EO is framed in terms of workplace training, its potential impact is much, much broader.

STEM research, education, and practice are human activities and reflect the social contexts in which they are performed. If STEM students and professionals are ignorant of these facts, they cannot be sufficiently mindful of those contexts in order to mitigate the errors which may result. With particular regard to the EO’s impact on federal grantees, including professional societies, it appears that the effect of this EO would be, among other things, the following:

  • Minimize our ability to develop programs to explain and mitigate the impact of stereotype threat on students, teachers, faculty, and engineering professionals, 
  • Endanger evidence-based systemic change strategies that promote equity in learning and working environments, and 
  • Inhibit efforts to catalyze the STEM enterprise to work collaboratively for inclusive change, resulting in a STEM workforce that reflects the population of the Nation. 

Such constraints are antithetical to the progress we seek to make as a STEM community and would stall or even reverse the hard-fought progress that has been made

1. Statement organized by the American Institute of Physics
2. Statement organized by the by Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives  

For those wanting to engage more on these issues, as well as supporting science funding, we recommend visiting COSSA for more resources.