The director of the government-run Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, “America's particle physics and accelerator laboratory,” praised the discrimination of white and Asian students in the hiring process, footage obtained by College Dissident reveals.
Lia Merminga, who began serving as director of Fermilab in early 2022, spoke at the Chicago Quantum Summit in November 2022 at the University of Chicago. During the Leadership Panel, she was asked what role Fermilab would have “to increase the talent pipeline, in particular, among under-represented groups.”
According to demographic data from Fermilab, 74.5% of Fermilab's workforce is white, and 9.4% is Asian, meaning that “under-represented groups” refers to non-white, non-Asian students.
Merminga began by pointing out that “one of the first initiatives” of Fermilab's Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center was to establish the Parker Fellowship, which is only available to “Black and African American scholars with a background in physics or engineering seeking a research assistantship.”
She then emphasized that Fermilab has established “several other fellowships that target college students and master's students primarily from under-represented populations.” Some of the fellowships, Merminga noted, “exclusively” target under-represented populations.
Merminga concluded by offering Fermilab's vision for the future: “So the vision and the dream is our next-generation workforce is going to be mostly comprised of under-represented populations.”
Fermilab is hardly the only American institution that discriminates against white and Asian students. For instance, a prestigious Harvard fellowship bars whites from applying, and a Pfizer fellowship prohibits white and Asian applicants. The Pfizer fellowship was challenged in court but defeated by Pfizer due to the challenge having a lack of standing.