In this event, members of the Caltech community presented their reflections on a collection of digitized materials curated from the Caltech Archives. The “uncomfortable things” selected for this discussion were artifacts of experiences of exclusion, inequality, discrimination, and bigotry in the history of Caltech. In this session, we acknowledged that the legacy of Caltech is intertwined with stories of injustice. By asking participants to personally reflect on that legacy, this event highlighted how there is no single solution or perspective sufficient to answer the multitude of questions and concerns that our community has about its history.
This event took place on October 2, 2020 as part of the series “Critical Intersections: Conversations on History, Race, and Science,” sponsored by the Caltech Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.