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Physics students forced to complete ‘decolonizing physics’ project

Students enrolled in a prestigious college’s physics class were forced to complete a “Decolonizing Physics” project as part of their coursework.

The requirement last semester was foisted upon students enrolled in Pomona College’s Foundations of Modern Physics class, reports the Claremont Independent.

The class is mandatory for students majoring in physics or astronomy, and is described in the class catalog as an “introduction to wave mechanics, spectra and structure of atoms, molecules and solids, nuclear physics and particle physics.”

The Independent reports:

According to an email obtained by the Independent sent from a student asking for assistance on the project, students in Foundations of Modern Physics must “learn and discuss implicit bias, microaggressions and other similar topics.” The email revealed that students are expected to “bring to light some of these issues to both the physics department and Pomona in general,” and cited a student movement at Harvard University, which highlighted microaggressions against students of color, as an example of the work expected from the students enrolled in the physics class.

It is not clear what aspects of wave mechanics, atomic structures, molecules and solids, nuclear physics, or particle physics deals with interpersonal implicit bias, a topic typically reserved for the social sciences and humanities.

Read the full report.

MORE: Feminist researcher supports ‘combining intersectionality and quantum physics’

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.