News and Commentary

Nature Magazine Requires Summer Interns To Be Black
Vintage illustration of Nature Magazine Cover, Birds, 1930s.
Found Image Holdings/Corbis via Getty Images

Nature Magazine, a London-based scientific journal, is hiring its summer interns based on skin color in the name of diversity. 

In a tweet, Nature said that it intends to hire a “Black candidate” for its summer news internship. “As part of our commitment to foster diversity and inclusion, we are looking for a Black candidate with a passion for science communication based in the UK for a full-time, paid news internship,” the magazine tweeted. 

According to the magazine’s internship application, the position is open to “anyone of Black heritage, which includes those who identify as Black, African, Caribbean, Black British or Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups.” Applicants must also be studying for a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math or demonstrate an understanding of science or technology and a background in journalism.”

Nature magazine is a flagship portfolio of journals dedicated to “serving the scientific community.” Interns will write articles for the publication and its audience of working scientists and build a portfolio of published work. The job description claims that interns may also have the opportunity to write features or other articles. 

The magazine issued a diversity commitment statement wherein it claimed that it would commission and hire more diverse journalists, editors, and reviewers.

“Nature Portfolio is committed to promoting practices that support diversity and inclusion in science communication and publishing,” the statement reads. “As a guiding principle, we aim to foster equity, diversity, and inclusion within our internal practices and in published content, embody these values in all our editorial activities and to support and promote these values in the research community.”  

Following the magazine’s tweet, Twitter users expressed outrage for the company’s blatant racism. 

“This is clearly discrimination against white people,” one user said. 

One user suggested that the application swap “black” for white” and “then imagine the outcry.” “Discrimination is still discrimination no matter how noble your intentions,” the user said. 

Another alluded to the soft bigotry of low expectations for black people. 

“This is downright insulting to black people who are looking to get into this field,” the tweet reads. “You’re literally hiring them to be a prop for when you want to show off your diversity credentials.”

British political commentator Calvin Robinson claimed that “this type of racial discrimination” goes against the country’s 2010 Equalities Act. 

Nature Magazine is among many companies globally that have reacted to the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement by shifting policies to benefit minorities and women. At Morgan Stanley, one of America’s top investment banking firms, employees are required to fulfill “diversity” quotas in the job application process. 

According to internal slides, Morgan Stanley mandated that job application pools meet a 50 percent threshold of “diverse” candidates. Diverse applicants are considered female or individuals that identify as “Black, Hispanic, [or] Asian.” The candidate pool must be at least 50 percent diverse.

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