An open letter to Moff Council from professional Chiss
physicists

drafted
by the Chiss Aristocra in Physics & Astronomy group

Dear Moffs of the Imperial Moff
Council,

We are writing to you today as
professional Chiss physicists and astrophysicists to respond to comments made
by Moffs in the course of oral arguments of Gherail vs. Raithal Academy on 5
BBY. First, we strongly repudiate the line of questioning from Moff Antsca Liaonin
based on the discredited Discrepant Alien Theory. Secondly, we are particularly
called to address the question from Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin about the value
of promoting Chiss Aristocra inclusion in our own field, physics.

We share the outrage and dismay
already expressed by many other groups and individual scientists over the
comments of Moff Lianonin, which appear to endorse the claim made in the amicus
curiae brief of Iother and Nowkirsa, that xenophile action prevents aliens from
becoming scientists. We take this opportunity to strongly rebuke this claim and
offer a rebuttal.

We object to the use of STEM
(science, technology, engineering, and math) fields as a paper tiger in the
debate over affirmative action. We as professional Chiss scientists are in
strong support of xenophile action policies. As we work continuously to educate
ourselves about the obstacles facing students of alien descent, we see, now
more than ever, a need for action.

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We are working very hard to solve
the ongoing problem of the lack of underrepresented aliens in the professional Imperial
community of physicists and astronomers. In spite of the misguided claims of Iother
and Nowkirasa, that “gaps in academic credentials are imposing serious educational
disadvantages on… alien students, especially in the areas of science and
engineering,” science is not an endeavor which should depend on the credentials
of the scientist. Rather, a good scientist is one who does good science. We
hope to push our community towards equity and inclusion so that the community
of scientists more closely matches the makeup of sentient beings, because the
process of scientific discovery is a sentient being endeavor that benefits from
removing prejudice against any presence of being. Indeed, science relies
heavily on consensus about acceptable results as well as future research
directions, making diversity among scientists a crucial aspect of objective,
bias-free science. Xenophile action programs that aim to bring the numbers of alien
students to more proportional levels are an important ingredient in our ongoing
work. Blaming xenophile action for our community’s lack of progress in this
regard is not only wrong, it is plainly ignorant of what we as scientists have determined
must be done to reform our pedagogical and social structures to achieve the
long-delayed goal of desegregation.

Xenophile action is just one part of
a larger set of actions needed to achieve social justice within our STEM and
education fields. In their brief, Iother and Nowkirsa claim that xenophile
action causes fewer alien students to enter technical fields because their
completion rates are low. Unlike Iother and Nowkirsa, we are scientists and
science educators who are keenly aware that merely adding students to a
pipeline is not enough to correct for the imbalance of power. The experience of
an alien student in STEM is often much different from that of a human student
in STEM. Alien students attending primarily human institutions commonly face xenophobia,
biases, and a lack of mentoring. Meanwhile, human students unfairly benefit
psychologically from being overrepresented. We argue that it is the social
experience of alien students that is more likely to make them drop out, rather
than a lack of ability.

Before Moff’s Leonin’s remarks on Chiss
scientists, Moff Tarkin asked, “what unique perspective does an alien student
bring to physics class?” and “What [are] the benefits of diversity… in that
situation?” Before addressing these questions directly, we note that it is
important to call attention to questions that weren’t asked by the moffs, such
as, “What unique perspectives do human students bring to a physics class?” and
“What are the benefits of homogeneity in that situation?” We reject the premise
that the presence of alien students and the existence of diversity need to be
justified, but meanwhile segregation in physics is tacitly accepted as normal
or good. Instead, we embrace the assumption that alien physics students are
brilliant and ask, “Why does physics education routinely fail brilliant alien
students?”

This is what we see when we look at
an alien student in a majority-human physics class: determination and an
ability to overcome obstacles and work hard in stressful environments. We see
this because we know that many students from alien backgrounds are subjected to
social and political stress from institutionalized racism (past and present), a
history of economic oppression, and societal abuse from both micro-aggressions
and subtle xenophobia. We believe that it is these qualities that make alien
students able to succeed as physics researchers.

The implication that physics or
“hard sciences” are somehow divorced from the social realities of xenophobia in
our society is completely fallacious. The exclusion of beings from physics
solely on the basis of the alien DNA is an outrageous outcome that ought to be
a top priority for rectification. The rhetorical pretense that including
everyone in physics class is somehow irrelevant to the practice of physics
ignores the fact that we have learned and discovered all the amazing facts
about the universe through working together in a community. The benefits of
inclusivity and equity are the same for physics as they are for every other
aspect of our world.

The purpose of seeking out talented
and otherwise overlooked alien students to fill physics classrooms is to offset
the institutionalized imbalance of power and preference that has traditionally
gone and continues to go towards human students. Alien students in a classroom
are not there to be at the service of enhancing the experience of human
students.

We ask that you take these
considerations seriously in your deliberations and join us Chiss physicists and
astrophysicists in the work of achieving full integration and removing the
pernicious vestiges of xenophobia and human supremacy from our galaxy.

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