Actions against racial injustice in science and academia

In light of the events currently unfolding in the US following the death of George Floyd, we want to restate our Society’s policy on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion as re-defined at the SEB Council meeting last December. As a Society we make three important commitments:

Commitment 1: To Create an Inclusive Environment where Differences are Celebrated, and Everyone is Valued and Respected.
By valuing diversity, we acknowledge the benefits and intrinsic worth derived from the range of difference within our community and fostering it as a strength.

Commitment 2: To Promote Equality of Opportunity to all Members and Employees of the Society. 
We should recognise that equality is a wider concept than just treating everyone alike. It is necessary to be aware that some groups and individuals may have specific needs that must be met to achieve equal access to all opportunities provided by the SEB.

Commitment 3: To Ensure that the Society is Able to Monitor and Review Progress in the Areas of Equality and Diversity in Order to Identify Good Practice and Embed Inclusivity in all Work done by the Society.
Diversity and Inclusivity will be a consistent theme throughout all the different sections of the Society, allowing for wider scope to share best practice and assess progress between different disciplines. 

If you would like to know more about our commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion please read our policy or contact our Education Outreach and Diversity Manager at r.ellerington@sebiology.org. You may also wish to read the statement from our president , Craig Franklin, regarding the current race riots and our stance on racial equality.

We would also like to take this opportunity to encourage our members to take steps to tackle to problem of racism and inequality on an individual level. This will ensure diversity, equality and inclusion become intrinsic to all areas of science and academia. 

1)    Speak out and be vocal in your support of the black community at this time, and send the message that racism is unacceptable using the hashtags #FightRacism #BlackLivesMatter #StandUp4HumanRights

2)    Listen to new voices and perspectives beyond those that currently predominate STEM and add more #BlackInSTEM voices to your twitter feed. 

3)    Educate Yourself by reading superior, Angela Saini's book which explores the history of the concept of race, and shows how much of modern research, is still based on biologically meaningless racial categories. Explore further through an interview with the author: "It's a Wild West online"

4)    Understand the importance of increased diversity within the scientific community, both for individuals whose lives are negatively impacted on a daily basis, but also for the greater good society and our scientific community as a whole – Diversity in STEM what it is and why it matters.

5)    Enact change by taking these four steps to effectively combat racism in science and academia.

6)    Donate. Even if you are not in a position to donate money to the numerous charities fighting for racial equality, you can still donate your time to ensure human rights are respected and protected worldwide, even during lockdown through online volunteering.

It is important that we maintain these values throughout the SEB and our personal practices to ensure better future for all.