Noorsher Ahmed is a junior Biophysics major. He is the co-founder and co-president of the student organization, People of Color in STEM, which seeks to promote the interests of students of color on campus who study science and mathematics. He has conducted research at Occidental College, studying microtubule dynamics and their effects on neural circuits, as well as research at UCSF, innovating novel emulsion-based microfluidic technologies for healthcare and research applications. Noorsher’s ambitions for his near future include graduate school and a career in biotech entrepreneurship and innovation. When not being a total nerd,Noorsher enjoys hiking, camping and occasionally leeching off of others’ Netflix accounts.
Brilliance has been around since the beginning of mankind. We celebrate brilliance and we depend on it. In the modern era, popular culture often depicts scientists and engineers as the brilliant people who can solve some of the biggest problems that humanity faces. We elevate scientists and engineers such as Einstein and Elon Musk to near demigod status. But the brilliance we celebrate is white brilliance. It’s male brilliance. Racism in STEM has become institutionalized, oppressing the brilliance of minorities, who in fact represent the majority of humanity. It is this oppressed brilliance that must be liberated if the scientific field and the tech industry want to actually tackle humanity’s biggest global problems with their technical skills and abilities. Inaction will not only continue to cause inequalities to grow, but will also have a real economic cost.