Nigel Golden: National lecture on practices that reduce participation and retention in STEM
Nigel Golden presented the 2020 Ambrose Jearld Jr. Lecture on Diversity and Inclusion in July. His topic was "Reducing Harm: A Politic to Address Institutional and Cultural Practices that Reduce Participation and Retention in STEM".
Golden is a doctoral candidate in environmental conservation and graduate fellow in the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
A native of Milwaukee, Golden received his bachelor of science in wildlife ecology and biology from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. At the university, he cultivated his passion for conducting research in environmental conservation, and the importance of doing this work in conjunction with social justice issues.
Golden’s remarks focused on the importance of addressing the cultural and structural barriers to full participation by marginalized communities in STEM. These barriers are intrinsic to academia as an institution. He advocates taking an active approach and acknowledging what he terms as “baked-in harm” in the system. Golden provided a framework for addressing the systemic issues that may explain and/or address those barriers. Getting the audience thinking and talking about these issues can help move the practice from a place of “do no harm” to reducing harm.
The lecture is named in honor of longtime NOAA Fisheries employee Ambrose Jearld, Jr. for his work in making Woods Hole a more diverse, inclusive and welcoming community. Jearld retired from NOAA Fisheries Service in September 2016 after 38 years of service at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, most recently as director of Academic Programs.
See also a piece co-authored by Golden, Does Our Vision of Diversity Reduce Harm and Promote Justice?