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Racism infects neuroscience’s past and present. What about its future?

De-Shaine Murray is working at the cutting edge of neurotechnology. As a postdoctoral fellow at Yale, he is developing a device to monitor the brain following traumatic brain injury or stroke.

He is also trying to fight the long legacy of racism in neuroscience. During 2020, when it was difficult to conduct research, he said, “I got the chance and the ability to read more widely and to just look into the legacy of neuroscience.” He found a direct line from racist pseudoscience like phrenology to disparities in neuroscience today, like how the texture of Black people’s hair can sometimes exclude them from clinical trials because electrodes are not designed for them. In 2021, he co-founded Black in Neuro, an organization dedicated to improving Black representation in neuroscience.

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