Words of wisdom from three leaders in the environmental health and justice field

A Q&A with Black and Latina researchers about health equity research and career advice for early career scientists.

Over the years, we have had countless conversations about our shared research, the field of environmental health, ethical science, the lack of diversity in our field, and how to become successful environmental health and justice researchers.

These last two points have been particularly salient as early-career researchers. Success as a researcher can be elusive — and job security is not a guarantee. We have seen faculty and students leave or be pushed out. We are speculating about the reasons for these departures, but we believe that some may be due to inadequate financial, social, and emotional support by institutions and individuals. Most of these individuals were people of color or from other systematically marginalized groups.

And many don’t even get a chance. Marginalized racial and ethnic groups are underrepresented in academia. While Black and Latino people represent 13% and 18% of the U.S. population, respectively, only 6% of professors in the U.S. are from these groups. Read more.