We're celebrating Black History Month by highlighting black scientists! Each Thursday of the month on the blog, we'll feature a new black scientist that has or is changing the world as we know it (also featured on our Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn). Our first highlighted black scientist is Jason Arday; learn about his work and accomplishments below!
Jason Arday is a British sociologist, writer, and fundraiser best known for his research on race and racism. In Autumn 2021, Arday was announced as Professor of Sociology of Education at the University of Glasgow, making him one of the youngest Professors in the UK and the youngest Black Professor in Britain at the time of his appointment. In March 2023, he began an appointment as Professor of Sociology of Education at the University of Cambridge, UK, becoming the youngest black person ever appointed to a professorship at Cambridge. Arday grew up on a council estate in Clapham, South London, where he was diagnosed as autistic at 3 years old, and due to global developmental delay, he learned to speak at the age of 11 and to read and write at the age of 18. Arday completed his further education at Merton College in Morden, South Wimbledon, where he would go on to meet his influential college tutor and mentor, sports lecturer Sandro Sandri.
Arday completed his undergraduate degree in Education Studies and Physical Education at the University of Surrey, before going on to study for a Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Education at St. Mary's University, Twickenham, and Post-Graduate Certificate in General Education (PGCE) at the Institute of Education. He completed his Master's Degree in Education (MEd) at Liverpool John Moores University, where he was also awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree in Education. His doctoral thesis was titled "An exploration of peer-mentoring among student teachers to inform reflective practice within the context of action research," and was completed in 2015; his doctoral supervisor was Philip Vickerman.
Arday has research interests and publications in intersecting areas across education, social mobility, mental health, and race. He has conducted research into Black students' experiences across universities and is outspoken about the omission of people of color in the academy and the enduring effects of racial discrimination. Arday is known for his report for The Black Curriculum, which received widespread media interest. The report "explores how the current History National Curriculum systematically omits the contribution of Black British history in favor of a dominant White, Eurocentric curriculum that fails to reflect our multi-ethnic and broadly diverse society."
Interested in learning more about Jason Arday? Visit https://www.durham.ac.uk/staff/jason-a-arday/. Come back next Thursday for a new blog and learn about more black scientists that are changing the world as we know it.