We reached out to our Damon Runyon current awardees, alumni, and committee members last week with the following message. We are sharing this message with the public because science is not insulated from the outside world and has always reflected the priorities and prejudices of the society it resides in. Racism and bias are not relics of a less enlightened past, but living, active forces that hold us back from scientific breakthroughs. We condemn racism, violence, and inequity levied against the black community and all citizens.

Dear Damon Runyon Scientists,

It would be a vast understatement to say that we are in the midst of an extremely challenging and tragic time as a nation and a world. At Damon Runyon, we appreciate and value the diversity in our scientific community because a wide range of thought and experience produces the best science. We believe that in order for the next generation of science to reach its full potential, we need an equitable society that ensures opportunity for all.

Sadly, that is not the world we currently live in. Recent events have highlighted the profound injustices that still infect our society and made it abundantly clear we all need to do better within our own spheres of influence. Now more than ever, we need to take risks to effect meaningful change to reduce and eventually eliminate all forms of racism and prejudice in science. We will continue to actively search for opportunities to counter bias and inequity during our selection process and for our current and former awardees.

We support you and we will stand with you in every way we can in the course of carrying out our mission.

As always, I am happy to hear from you should you have further thoughts. All of us at Damon Runyon wish you well and hope for a more just and peaceful future for everyone.


Yung S. Lie, PhD

President and Chief Executive Officer

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation

This post was originally published by Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. It is republished with permission.