Gone woke? Feds create race, gender speech codes for scientists to follow
April 7, 2023
The National Institute of Standards and Technology, a federal and science technology office, has made race and gender speech codes for its scientists a top priority.
The guidance, for example, tells federal employees not to use the words “blacklist” or “whitelist” because of the racial connotations and also cautions against “using terms that assign a gender to inanimate objects, such as male/female connectors.”
The NIST is a little-known government agency tasked with helping the U.S., among other things, stay technologically ahead of rivals like China. Congress appropriated about $1.65 billion for the group for 2023.
The NIST is one of many federal agencies putting its attention and taxpayer funds into these efforts as it struggles to keep pace with its key mission. The NIST sparked controversy for its “Inclusive Language Guidance,” which tells scientists which words or phrases they can or cannot use in reports.
From the document:
– Consider that biased terms, such as blacklist/whitelist, also may introduce comprehension issues.
– Avoid terms such as master/slave that perpetuate negative stereotypes or unequal power relationships.
– Avoid identifying an individual’s gender unless necessary for comprehension, or using terms that assign a gender to inanimate objects, such as male/female connectors.