Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program

June 10, 2020

The Neuroscience and Cognitive Science (NACS) community joins the other University colleges, departments, and programs that have expressed their shock, disgust, fury, and deep sadness at the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers sworn to serve and help him. George Floyd’s murder is itself an unbearably horrifying act, but it is only one of the latest examples of deep-rooted racism in our country. Each year ~1000 U.S. citizens are killed by police, and Black Americans are three times more likely to be killed than white people. Many of these killings are senseless, committed against unarmed people, and marked by a disproportionate and unlawful use of force.

Over the past few weeks, we have heard the names of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Antwon Rose Jr., Philando Castile, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Terence Crutcher – all Black men, women, and children murdered at the hands of public servants and un-corralled vigilantes. To our shame as a nation, there are thousands more names on this list of extrajudicial murders in our short history. It is important that NACS grieve these losses, condemn the racism and bigotry that fuels the murder of non-white individuals without consequence, stand in solidarity with persons of color in our community, and propose concrete solutions to advance social justice.

NACS is late in making this statement, and we are grateful that the hurtful nature of our silence was brought to our attention. We also want to recognize NACS student Junaid Merchant for initiating the organization—two weeks ago—of an on-line meeting of NACS students that was held yesterday morning. We must recognize how the insidious nature of systemic racism and bias has affected all academic institutions, including the University of Maryland. Our “ivory tower” is not immune to the problems of the world; indeed, it is rife with racism and discrimination (e.g. #blackintheivory). June 10, 2020 was designated as a day for academics and scientists to reflect on racism and intrinsic bias in our world: #shutdownSTEM and #shutdownacademia.

NACS must be part of the solution to systemic racism in America. We must undertake constant and unsparing inward assessment and make conscious decisions to take direct actions. We need to consider, collectively, what we can do as an organization to increase the diversity of our community and to promote outreach and education to combat racial bias in STEM and beyond. It is especially important that our White members commit to the hard work of undoing centuries of institutionalized racial violence in all levels of our society. The challenge of creating positive change in our scientific communities, and in our culture at large, cannot fall to people of color alone. By affirming and celebrating our shared humanity, we commit to meeting these challenges together.


Joshua Singer, Director and Professor of Biology
Matthew Roesch, Director and Professor of Psychology
Nan Bernstein Ratner, Associate Director and Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences
Erica Glasper Andrews, Associate Director and Associate Professor of Psychology
Pamela Komarek, Assistant Director
Quentin Gaudry, Associate Professor of Biology
Ricardo Araneda, Associate Professor of Biology
Jeremy Purcell, Faculty Research Scientist at the Maryland Neuroimaging Center and Affiliate of Psychology
Karen Carleton, Professor of Biology
Kristen Hamilton Moseley, Assistant Research Professor of Psychology
Jens Herberholz, Associate Professor of Psychology
Howard Lasnik, Distinguished University Professor of Linguistics
Pamela Abshire, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering & Institute for Systems Research
Colenso Speer, Assistant Professor of Biology
Katrina MacLeod, Associate Research Scientist of Biology
Yi Ting Huang, Associate Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences
Jonathan Simon, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and of Biology
Timothy Horiuchi, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering & Institute for Systems Research
Tracy Riggins, Associate Professor of Psychology
Stephen Roth, Professor of Applied Environmental Health and Kinesiology
Edward Bernat, Associate Professor of Psychology
Catherine Carr, Distinguished Professor of Biology
Lisa Taneyhill, Professor of Animal and Avian Sciences
Jude Cassidy, Professor of Psychology
Elizabath Quinlan, Professor of Biology
Jared Novick, Associate Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences
Rodolphe Gentili, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology
Matthew Goupell, Associate Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences
Derek Paley, Willis H. Young Jr. Professor of Aerospace Engineering
Deana Karpavage, Program Management Specialist in NACS
David Jacobs, Professor of Computer Science
Donald Perlis, Professor of Computer Science
Samira Anderson, Associate Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences
L. Robert Slevc, Associate Professor of Psychology
Xuan (Anna) Li, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Naomi Feldman, Associate Professor of Linguistics
Daniel Butts, Associate Professor of Biology
Joo Yun Jun, Grants Development Specialist in NACS
Ellen Lau, Associate Professor of Linguistics
Scott Juntti, Assistant Professor of Biology
Tim Kiemel, Associate Research Professor in Kinesiology
Jeff Lidz, Professor of Linguistics
Farrah Madison, Assistant Research Professor of Psychology
Jan Edwards, Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences
Melissa Caras, Assistant Professor of Biology
Ken Rubin, Professor of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology
Elizabeth Redcay, Associate Professor of Psychology
Heidi Fisher, Assistant Professor of Biology
Behtash Babadi, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering & Institute for Systems Research
Yasmeen Faroqi Shah, Associate Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences
Sandra Gordon-Salant, Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences
Luiz Pessoa, Professor of Psychology & Director of the Maryland Neuroimaging Center
Nathan A. Fox, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Human Development and
     Quantitative Methodology, Director, Child Development Lab
Maria Polinsky, Professor of Linguistics



Last modified
06/17/2020 - 3:04 pm