Racial equity, research and the SRNT taskforce with Mignonne Guy and Megan Piper
In this episode of Addiction Audio, Drs Mignonne Guy and Megan Piper talk about their work on the racial equity taskforce for the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT). It was a powerful and wide-ranging discussion about developing anti-racist practice, social constructs of race, research methods, society organisations and research funding structures.
Megan and Mignonne began by talking about why SRNT set up the racial equity taskforce, how they determined what to do and the findings of the SRNT policy review. They then discuss wider issues of race and inequality that run throughout academia, describing how health disparity research can be suppressed and discouraged as well as the impact of the tobacco industry’s racist history.
“When we look at our policies and we see that there’s nothing about race, no, that’s not surprising … because that’s how this invisible dominant whiteness takes over everything – by excluding those groups and not explicitly referring to other populations.” – Dr Mignonne Guy
The discussion then focuses on how key research concepts – including methods often considered central to public health research – need to change or be replaced in order to eliminate the impact of structural racism on research and on population health.
They finally offer advice to organisations about how to undertake their own racial equity reviews.
“So, this scientific premise that we have been operating under and training …. so many scientists under that the population can be controlled for doesn’t work. [This] really does elevate the importance of studying specific populations because their experiences are so very different they can’t be controlled for.” – Dr Megan Piper
“We’re asking people to divest from their scientific legacy and to try to construct something new and be part of that and pioneering this type of work” – Dr Mignonne Guy
Original article: Lessons Learned on Addressing Racism: Recommendations from The Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco’s Racial Equity Task Force by Megan E. Piper and colleages. Published in Addiction (2022).
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