APS Condemns Anti-Asian Racism

The American Physical Society stands against racism and misogyny in all their forms. Its July 2020 Board Statement on racism called out the tragic events of last summer. In response to those events, the APS introduced a new series of webinars aimed at transforming the culture of physics to make it more inclusive, diverse and equitable.

Today, we are deeply saddened to have to write again to express the American Physical Society's outrage at increasing acts of racism, this time against members of the Asian Desi Pacific Islander communities. The recent killings in Atlanta have highlighted anti-Asian racism, so prevalent in the United States and other countries.

Last May, an APS Board Statement condemned rising anti-Asian actions and reaffirmed the importance of openness and inclusion in science and society. For many years, Asians and Asian Americans have contributed mightily to the United States while enduring great deprivation and discrimination along the way. In the nineteenth century they built railroads to unite the country; in the twentieth they were excluded and interned, acts that stained the nation's honor and betrayed its founding ideals.

In recent years, physicists of Asian descent have overcome obstacles to spark innovation, create jobs, and win Nobel Prizes. Today, they lead some of our most important research laboratories, while Asian and Asian American students are critical to advancing our science.

Yet racism persists. People of Asian descent continue to be targeted, both literally and figuratively. Students, especially international students, feel particularly vulnerable and threatened. To the mentors and leaders among us, reach out to your students in these difficult times. In particular, let your international students know that they are an important part of our community. Let them know that they belong, and that an act of racism or misogyny against any one is an attack against us all.

Sylvester James Gates, Jr., Frances Hellman, Robert Rosner, Philip H. Bucksbaum, A. Baha Balantekin, Andrea J. Liu, and Jonathan A. Bagger

2021 APS Presidential Line, Speaker and Past Speaker of the Council, and CEO