How do we change not only the stereotypes of who is a scientist, but the systems themselves that have created and perpetuated these stereotypes? Katie discusses with the hosts of the Webby-nominated Dope Labs podcast, Drs. Titi Shodiya and Zakiya Whatley.
Dope Labs isn't your typical science podcast because Titi and Zakiya are not your "typical" scientists. In fact, these two black women scientists are on a mission to break the mold of what we think of as a "typical" scientist.
The Duke University-trained PhDs created Dope Labs to empower those who are most often left out of scientific fields: women and people of color. The hosts bring their whole selves to exploring scientific questions, bringing a Black lens and a penchant for pop culture to make science relatable and fun. This is reflected in their broad range of topics, such as astronomy, "cuffing season," why the concept of biological race is a lie, and vibranium (the fictional metal from "Black Panther").
On today's Femtastic Podcast, Titi and Zakiya explain why it's so important to speak about science in a way that anybody can understand and how they want to empower people of color to bring their whole selves to scientific careers. They also talk about how we must strive beyond the goal of mere "representation" of people of color in science and instead think about how we create systems and cultures that allow marginalized people to have the power, freedom of expression, and respect that majority groups get by default.
"For us, it’s just about having folks feel like they can show up as their for-real selves to their slice of the scientific community, and not have to change themselves or hide parts of themselves because they feel like it will be something that holds them back in their career."