Anti-Racism Commitment

Statement on Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory’s Commitment to Anti-Racism and Institutional Change June 2021

Black lives matter.

We the leadership of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences are committed to making Lamont a diverse, nurturing, and vibrant community founded upon the fundamental understanding that all of its members deserve dignity and have value. We have failed science and ourselves over the last half century by unintentionally and/or intentionally excluding representative numbers of Black people, and other people of color, from our ranks.  A renewed and effective dedication to anti-racist practices is imperative to the operation of a just institution and our ability to undertake the most creative, innovative, salient, and beneficial research. 

The geosciences are among the least diverse STEM fields in the United States and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, an international leader in science, must strive to become a leader in diversity as well.  While gender diversity initiatives decreased gender disparity across our ranks over the last 25 years, our performance in recruitment and retention of historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups has not been satisfactory. We are committed to doing our part to change these demographics. We simply must do better.

Our goal is to create a progressive, anti-racist, inclusive community. We must each uphold the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our daily practices. We must make meaningful anti-discriminatory changes to our existing academic and research infrastructures. We recognize these challenges and have established a Task Force to assess the current disparities at Lamont and recommend corrective actions. With broad representation, the Task Force has been charged with recommending plans and programs that will help build a workplace culture that prioritizes diversity, equity and inclusion at every level. Only then will our science be able to achieve its vast potential for meeting the global challenges we face.

Lastly, the impetus for this statement and the Task Force came in no small part from our graduate students, postdoctoral scientists and early career researchers—we are hopeful that the rest of us will recognize their leadership and contribute to the changes we so desperately need.

Maureen E. Raymo
Co-Founding Dean, Columbia Climate School

Director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
G. Unger Vetlesen Professor of Earth and Climate Sciences, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Art Lerner-Lam
Deputy Director
Lamont Research Professor

Kuheli Dutt
Assistant Director, Academic Affairs and Diversity

Steven Goldstein
Associate Director, Geochemistry
Higgins Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Mingfang Ting
Associate Director, Ocean and Climate Physics
Lamont Research Professor

Roger Buck
Associate Director, Marine Geology and Geophysics
Lamont Research Professor

Rosanne D’Arrigo
Associate Director, Biology and Paleo Environment
Lamont Research Professor

James Davis
Associate Director, Seismology, Geology, and Tectonophysics
Lamont Research Professor

David Goldberg
Associate Director, Marine and Large Programs
Lamont Research Professor

Jerry F. McManus
Chair, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Sidney R. Hemming
Associate Chair, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences