The Amgen Foundation is leading a project that puts Amgen staff at the heart of a radical shift in the portrayal and perception of scientists. Through a grant to the non-profit The Plenary, Co., the Amgen Foundation supported the "I Am A Scientist" initiative to develop 13 profiles of Amgen's employees to inspire more young people from every background to pursue science. With the first four profiles just completed, the Amgen Foundation is not just adding to a collection of scientific biographies, it is actively participating in a larger, more profound narrative change.
The core philosophy of "I Am A Scientist" is brilliantly simple yet profoundly impactful: "If students see themselves in science, they're more likely to imagine themselves working in the field."
"Our work presents scientists as people with unique backgrounds, stories, dreams, interests, passions and journeys," explains Stephanie Fine Sasse, who founded The Plenary, Co. as an art and science engagement non-profit that designs vibrant community experiences to unlock the insights and energy needed to create more beautiful, sustainable, and equitable futures. "They're not just white men in lab coats and glasses. We provide a holistic view of what a scientist is, so that everyone can see themselves in science."
Today the first four of 13 Amgen scientists will provide middle and high school students with the chance to connect with the stories and experiences of real-life scientists, breaking down traditional stereotypes of what it means to be a scientist.
Readers will discover the extraordinary stories of Amgen employees, who're helping reshape how the world views scientists. This isn't just a change in narrative, it's a celebration of the diverse and dynamic fabric that makes up the Amgen family.
"The Amgen Foundation strives to build a future where the field of science is as diverse and dynamic as the world itself," says Scott Heimlich, president of the Amgen Foundation. "The creation and distribution of these 13 profiles of Amgen employees on both the 'I Am A Scientist' and LabXchange platforms ensures that teachers and students around the globe can have access to relatable, diverse role models, and experience first-hand the varied faces of the biotech industry. Our aim is to inspire more young people to envision a career in science not as a distant dream, but as an achievable, exciting reality."
Launched in 2020, LabXchange is a free online science education platform that is already on target to reach 50 million students and teachers around the world by 2025. Hosting the "I Am A Scientist" profiles will amplify the importance of science in addressing the big challenges the world is facing, complementing the Amgen Foundation's mission to foster a more diverse and inclusive scientific community.
"I Am A Scientist" posters — complete with QR codes — provide physical-to-digital access points for teachers, students and parents in over 5,000 classrooms across the US, while LabXchange enables teachers to quickly integrate these career journeys into compelling classroom lesson plans.
The Amgen Foundation's initiatives are more than just isolated projects—they represent a cohesive, ambitious strategy to reshape the landscape of science education and career aspiration. With LabXchange and the impactful narratives of "I Am A Scientist", the Amgen Foundation aims to inspire a new generation of scientists, who see no boundaries to their dreams and potential.