June is a month dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ communities around the world. Although the usual celebrations of our LGBTQ+ Earth science colleagues are hindered by social distancing guidelines, the Department remains committed to supporting and providing a safe environment for our diverse members. We recognize that LGBTQ+ individuals face discrimination and are thus socially disadvantaged, and we are dedicated to eliminating the barriers to equity and inclusion in our community.
Diversity within the sciences is integral to combating scientific and societal problems (Medin and Lee 2012). However, this diversity is hindered by discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender, race and other factors. Racial discrimination was on recent public display with the horrific killing of George Floyd in the USA. At this time more than ever we stand in support of our Black, Asian, minority ethnic members and renew our commitment to expunge discrimination and racism in the Earth sciences.
In this regard, we are working with current students and staff to review BAME and LGBTQ+ recruitment and equality issues. We are developing ways to address these issues through recruitment, outreach strategies, and departmental activities. We recognise, however, that there is still much more we can – and will – do.
‘The Earth sciences is one of the least diverse of all science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, in terms of race and ethnicity (Bernard and Cooperdock 2018), and we must take the steps necessary to achieve a more inclusive and equitable community. The Department asks our members to support our minority colleagues and to end discrimination. Below are a list of resources which we will continue to build on. We encourage all of our community to use these, reach out to your colleagues and friends, to support one another and hold each other accountable.
Bernard and Cooperdock. 2018. No progress on diversity in 40 years. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-018-0116-6
Boss. 2017. Recognizing the Culture of Geology as a Primary Barrier to Inclusion. https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2017AM/webprogram/Paper300496.html
Dutt. 2020. Race and racism in the geosciences. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0519-z
Estrada et al. 2018. A longitudinal study of how quality mentorship and research experience integrate underrepresented minorities into STEM careers. https://www.lifescied.org/doi/full/10.1187/cbe.17-04-0066
Giles et al. 2020. Barriers to fieldwork in undergraduate geoscience degrees. https://www.nature.com/articles/s43017-020-0022-5
Hofstra et al. 2020. The Diversity-Innovation Paradox. https://nlp.stanford.edu/pubs/hofstra2020innovation.pdf
Articles and Blog Posts:
Sorry, I Can’t Just Focus on the Science, by Naia Butler-Craig:
11 Terms You Should Know to Better Understand Structural Racism, by The Aspen Institute Staff:
Climate Change Isn’t Racist – People Are, by Mary Annaise Heglar
For Minorities in Science, Building Community Matters, by Lesley Evan Ogden
How to best be an ally in STEM, by Valeria Khudiakova
You are not lucky. You earned it! by Monica Vidaurri
The Geosciences Community Needs to Be More Diverse and Inclusive, by Robin E. Bell and Lisa White