Wellcome makes unflinching statement about institutional racism

11th Aug 2022

Wellcome logo

“Wellcome is still an institutionally racist organisation, and … we have yet to act on this with the urgency required.”
 – Jeremy Farrar, Wellcome Director

This is not the kind of statement typically given by leaders of major organisations, and this unconventionally bold transparency made yesterday’s publication (10 August 2022) of Wellcome’s report, ‘Evaluation of Wellcome Anti-Racism Programme Final Evaluation [pdf 1.65 MB] ’ even more striking.  

The British Neuroscience Association (BNA) welcomes the openness, committment to respond, and clear action plan put forward by Wellcome to work harder to counter racial inequity.  

Two years ago, Wellcome made a statement recognising that it had perpetuated racism, and made a commitment to becoming an anti-racist funder and employer. Yesterday’s report was an evaluation of progress to date, and, although some progress was found - such as improvements in the racial diversity of its workforce - the main conclusion was that Wellcome continues to fall short of its commitment. 

Dr Emma Yhnell, BNA’s Committee Representative for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, stated: "This is a frank and clear review that makes for difficult but necessary reading for many working with and within Wellcome and the sector more generally. However, this transparency is something that we should all strive to emulate if we are to achieve meaningful change and equity in science and research."


Anti-racism at the BNA

At the BNA we are aware we have much work to do in this space. We are in process of reviewing our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion policy as well as other procedures and policies in the BNA; please do contact us if you have any views or suggestions.

Please also see some tools and resources for anti-racism in neuroscience, and information about the BNA Scholars Programme for under-represented ethnic groups in neuroscience. 

Read the full statement from Wellcome
Read the full report: Evaluation of Wellcome Anti-Racism Programme Final Evaluation [pdf 1.65 MB]


About Wellcome

Wellcome is a global charitable foundation established in 1936. Through its work Wellcome supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone.

Wellcome supports curiosity-driven research, and is taking on three of the biggest health challenges facing humanity – climate change, infectious disease and mental health.

Wellcome also works with policy makers, runs advocacy campaigns, and forms partnerships with other organisations to ensure everyone, everywhere benefits from advances in health science. 


About the BNA

The British Neuroscience Association (BNA) is the largest UK organisation representing and promoting neuroscience and neuroscientists. Our members' interests cover the whole range of neuroscience, from ion channels to whole animal behaviour to real-life applications in the clinic and beyond.

Through an exciting programme of UK-wide activities and events, collaborations, campaigns and lobbying, we provide a wide range of opportunities for the neuroscience community, helping to define and deliver the future of neuroscience.

Never miss the latest BNA news, opportunities and events: sign up for our free newsletter.


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