14th December 2020: There is an urgent need for a wider discussion on how geoscience can be made more inclusive and accessible for everyone, according to members of iCRAG, the SFI Research Centre in Applied Geosciences who are coordinating the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in Geosciences (EDIG) conference. The conference will be held virtually on 15-16 December 2020.

To help address prejudice, inequity, sexism, bias, exclusion, and discrimination in geoscience, researchers at iCRAG, in collaboration with geoscientists from partner organisations, launched the EDIG conference to promote effective, long-term change and to help the geoscience community become more inclusive and equitable.

 Across two days, over 600 attendees will hear from 17 speakers on a wide variety of issues including ableism, diversity, unconscious bias, historical inclusivity within STEM, and how to challenge inappropriate workplace behaviours.

 Key speakers include Dr Hendratta Ali of Fort Hayes State University who will speak on underrepresentation, and Nicole Doucette of the DYNOMine podcast highlighting women’s experience in mining.

Central to informing the design of the event was a global survey of EDI within geoscience. Key findings include: 58% of respondents stated that there are issues with prejudice, inequity, exclusion, and discrimination in their workplace. A further 73% highlighted the presence of unconscious bias issues in their workplace.

Speaking ahead of the event, Aileen Doran, EDIG conference-lead said, “EDIG is focused on bringing geoscientists from all over the world together, to listen and to learn from the experiences of minoritized geoscientists, so we can all work together to make geoscience more accessible and inclusive.”

Professor Murray Hitzman, Director of iCRAG, added, “the grassroots development of the EDIG project, and now its delivery, should give us all great hope for the future.  The momentum from EDIG and similar campaigns worldwide will create a more open and diverse group of geoscientists.  This is truly critical as we all strive to use our science to address the immense challenges humanity faces in living sustainably on our planet home.”

The EDIG conference takes place online, beginning with a screening of “Picture A Scientist” on Monday Dec 14, which chronicles researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. Tuesday Dec 15 sees sessions on the past and present EDI issues in STEM, with Wednesday Dec 16 featuring a session on mapping a more inclusive future and a workshop on unconscious bias. Registration closes at midnight on Dec 14.

Further information is available here.