Neil deGrasse Tyson on being profiled as a kid…
In response to a question, about whether genetic differences might explain why there are fewer women than men in science, he recounted this episode from his childhood:
“I walked out of a store one time, and the alarm went off, and so they came running to me. I walked through the gate at the same time a white male walked through the gate. And that guy just walked off with the stolen goods, KNOWING they would’ve stopped me and not him. That’s an interesting sort of exploitation – what a scam that was.”
“So my life experience tells me that when you don’t find blacks in the sciences, you don’t find women in the sciences, I know that these forces are real, and I had to survive them in order to get where I am today. So before we start talking about genetic differences, you gotta come up with a system where there’s equal opportunity. Then we can have that conversation.”
Scroll to an hour and two minutes into the video.