Wasn’t that wonderful

We would like to thank everyone who came to the Decolonise STEM symposium, and made it such a special day.

We are working on some legacy resources and activities, as well as on uploading a few videos of talks for those who couldn’t join us. We hope these materials will also be helpful to others interested in decoloniality.

Tasty treats are simmering – if you wish to be involved in the feast, you can join our mailing list by emailing decolonisestem@gmail.com.

Don’t worry, we don’t have time for spamming.

Symposium applications are open!

If you’d like to participate to our symposium, now is the time to apply. We have decided to move away from the traditional first-come first-served basis, which can have the effect of excluding certain groups. Instead, we invite those who wish to participate to explain why they are interested.

The deadline for applications is September 1st. Decisions on attendance will be made by September 5th. The event is free, and we have a pot of travel money for those who might need it.

More details, and instructions on how to apply, can be found in the Call for Attendees.

Come along!

Would you like to be one of our panellists?

We’re very excited to have the wonderful Dr Arianne Shahvisi and Dr Xine Yao joining our symposium as keynote speakers. Dr Shahvisi teaches ethics and medical humanities in Brighton, and is deeply involved in campus and community activism, focussing on gender, race, migration, and academic freedom. Dr Xine Yao is a lecturer in American literature at UCL and the co-host of PhDivas, a podcast about academia, culture, and social justice across the STEM/humanities divide.

If you’d like to join them as a speaker, you can apply to participate to a panel. We can’t stress this enough: you don’t need to be an academic in order to do this. The symposium will be a time to share, think together and listen to each other.

For the specifics of what we have in mind, you can have a look at our official Call for Panellists. If you have any questions or you’re not quite sure whether you fit the bill and can’t face to fill in a Google form, we’re with you! Get in touch with us through our Contacts page. We’re a friendly bunch.

We’d love to hear from you. Really.


We’re a collective of academic activists, seeking to start a conversation about coloniality in STEM. Our first initiative is a symposium, aimed to critically explore coloniality, privilege, and power in and around science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and the institutions that bolster and support the colonial matrix. For information on how to apply to participate, see “The Symposium” section.

Our ethos is one of respect, nurture and radical care. As a collective we will foster an environment for action-led, theoretically informed, strategies for robustly unpacking the landscape of STEM, with an understanding that ‘empire’ and ‘whiteness’ are multifaceted, and as such intertwined with, and embedded in, other supremacist frameworks of control – such as patriarchy, heteronormativity, ableism, and the ‘Other’ – all of which contribute to a scientific rationality that facilitates and reproduces a colonial mindset.

The creation of a collective to decolonise STEM is born with a sense of urgency and recognition that we must act if we are to survive the pervasive politics of the moment. This collective recognises how these politics – of empire and white supremacy – are deeply embedded and upheld by our hegemonic understanding of science, institutional practice, and emerging technologies. The intellectual and political well-spring of science and technology studies (STS) is activism: it is our belief that this ethos has to be reclaimed if STS is to robustly contribute to the position of science in such turbulent times.

The decolonising STEM agenda is shared across the UCL STS PhD and MSc community, and touches on all aspects of our research. It re-unites the STS desire for interdisciplinarity, which at times, under a neo-liberal system gets lost or is engaged with only in an attempt to appease the marketised logics of academia: the creation of ever-individuating ‘bankable’ niches as opposed to sites of collective action, change and genuinely new insight . Our collective seeks to reclaim these bonds, and utilise our shared knowledge of sociology, philosophy, history, politics and communication, as well as our lived experiences as early year academics in a time of political, social, and environmental change, which touches everything we engage in, scientific or otherwise.

As such, we are willing and demand to have uncomfortable conversations, regarding issues such as eugenics and our institutional relationships with eugenicists; climate poverty and our accountability both locally and globally; and supremacy within STEM more generally – who gets access and who doesn’t? Who gets to speak and who gets smothered? We recognise that we are all at times complicit in the reproduction of hegemony, of oppressive systems. We lean into these tensions as a means to disrupt them, as opposed to turning away.