Shay-Akil McLean

Educator, organizer, writer & public intellectual

@ @Hood_Biologist

Dr. Shay-Akil McLean, MA, MA, Ph.D. is a Queer Trans man racialized as Black, on stolen Indigenous land, an educator, organizer, writer & public intellectual. Dr. Shay-Akil McLean is a Du Boisian & Darwinian Eco-Evolutionary Geneticist & Comparative Historical Sociologist, who develops leading expert commentary on biology, race/ism, health, science, technology & society. He is also the founder of the free political education website & the free scientific ethics website

Dr. McLean studies Du Boisian sociology, STS/HASTS, race/ism, human health demography, evolutionary genetics, & theoretical population genetics. Dr. McLean earned his Ph.D. from the UIUC School of Integrative Biology’s Program for Ecology, Evolution, & Conservation (EECB/PEEC). He holds degrees in biological anthropology (BA & MA) & sociology (BA & MA) which he uses to study bioethics, medical ethics, philosophy of biology, population genetics, evolutionary theory, health inequities, & knowledge production. Dr. McLean utilizes his varied skill sets to study how exploitative human practices produce differential distributions of health, illness, quality of life, and death.

Dr. McLean’s Master’s work in biological anthropology looked at the effects of food insecurity, poverty, & racial residential segregation on the dental health of low-income Black people in the 4th poorest city in the United States. It is through this work that Dr. McLean began developing community-based grassroots interventions that focus on creating tools for colonized peoples to use for protecting themselves & their loved ones from race(ist) medical institutional practices. It is through this work that Dr. McLean began developing community-based grassroots interventions that focus on changing marginalized’s people’s relationships to knowledge & power. The goal of Dr. McLean’s work is to produce otherwise alternatives by creating the conditions required to achieve strategic gains toward organizing communities against the structural violence killing colonized & racialized peoples & the earth.

As a public educator & scientist, Dr. McLean has developed & facilitated workshops, teach-ins, Saturday school programs, designed curricula, & given guest lectures on a wide range of topics including:

  • Du Bois Meets Darwin (Dissertation Defense)
  • Taking Social Constructionism Seriously
  • Science? That Unsettles
  • Best Practices for Democratizing Research
  • A Primer on Race/ism
  • The People’s Science Panel UIUC GEO
  • Health Inequities
  • Black Feminism & Intersectionality
  • Colonialism & Gender
  • Political Education As Resistance
  • Black Feminism & Hip Hop
  • Intersectionality & Controlling Images In Hip Hop
  • Pan Africanism & African Liberation
  • Bio- & Necro-politics