I have been reading with great sadness about the events unfolding in the US. The race riots have drawn attention in my own country to an ongoing inequality for indigenous and black people in detention, and their treatment by the prevailing system. I am sure there are similar examples in every country, as the injustice of this violent act speaks to a much greater problem of systemic racism and persistent inequalities that plague all areas of our society, including in science and academia. 

The resemblance of the current situation in the US with historic and worldwide events, highlights how painfully slow change can come. It is now more important than ever that we continue to strive to be part of the solution and not the problem. I feel this is an opportune time to restate our Society’s policy on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion as ratified at the SEB Council meeting last December. We will continue to re-examine our own practices to ensure our commitments to equality and diversity have real and tangible benefits and are not just empty promises.

Progress results from diverse perspectives. Encouraging and supporting a diverse workforce is not only the right and equitable thing to do, but it can also enhance innovation, helps broaden the research agenda and aids in furthering advances made in science. It is imperative, to remain actively anti-racist and we encourage our members to also take steps to tackle to problem of racism and inequality on an individual level.

I will take this opportunity to briefly define our policy. We as a Society make three important commitments:

  • Commitment 1: To Create an Inclusive Environment where Differences are Celebrated and Everyone is Valued and Respected.
  • Commitment 2: To Promote Equality of Opportunity to all Members and Employees of the Society. 
  • 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.

It is important to promote these values in our Society, in our work and in our relationships. This can only lead to better science, better outcomes and a better world. I hope we can all remain vigilant in maintaining these values in our work and lives. 

Graig signature

Craig Franklin, President SEB