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Building Inclusive STEM Collections: Books by BIPOC Authors (October 2022): Scope

By Hilary Dorsch Wong, Katherine A. Hicks, and David Kornreich


In this essay, we focus on books authored by scientists who self-identify as members of historically marginalized racial groups, that is, Black, Indigenous, Asian, or Latinx scientists who embrace their BIPOC identity. Books by scientists identified with other groups underrepresented within the sciences (i.e., LGBTQ+ or women authors) who are not also known as people of color were beyond the project scope. Because of our commitment to include only authors who self-identify as scientists of color, readers may note that works by one especially prominent author of books on astronomy are not included. We made this determination having learned that the author in question has publicly expressed discontent at being categorized as a Black physicist. It is also notable that authors included here are primarily Canadian or American, reflecting that we found it more challenging to determine how scientists self-identified outside the North American context. A scientist employed in France, Sudan, or South Africa might self-identify as “French,” “Sudanese,” or “South African” before or in preference to identifying as “Black” or “BIPOC.” To be included here, coauthored titles needed to have at least one acknowledged BIPOC author. Regarding coedited works, we considered those edited by at least one BIPOC scientist, or that included contributions by numerous BIPOC scientists, to be in scope. Also worth noting, since we were mainly seeking books contributing substantively to the disciplines, we only included books about diversity in the sciences or highlighting BIPOC scientists’ careers if they were also written or edited by BIPOC scientists. Given these caveats, there were many valuable books on the latter topics that remained beyond our scope. Finally, all works included and discussed below were published roughly within the past ten years.