Dark Matters: Metaphorical Black Holes that Affect Ethnic Underrepresentation in Engineering

Renetta Tull’s paper will establish unique metaphors between social science and physics. The social science context also takes into account the social justice current events of the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the United States where social media brought to bear conversations about the injustices related to untimely deaths of unarmed African-Americans by those in law enforcement. The movement has elevated the conversation to a point where we can draw parallels to look at the academic lives of people from underrepresented groups, and the worth of these lives by academic power structures. As scientists and engineers, we bring the parallels of the current social justice events into a context that is being observed in the academic institutions: diversity in engineering. While social scientists have developed theories on the topic, we seek to further quantify the observations by applying terms that have also been ascribed to the universe.

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