How the world’s biggest science society aims to be more inclusive

On June 10th, Black scientists in America organized a strike to protest discrimination within academia and the sciences. The world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society, The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), took part in the strike, but it’s not stopping there in its fight against systemic racism. 

In a letter to its 120,000 members this month, AAAS CEO Sudip Parikh announced that the 172-year-old institution has come up with a plan to hold itself accountable for making itself and the sciences more diverse. By September, it will start sharing data on the diversity of its staff, fellows, and authors published in its journals—with the goal being to make the science community more inclusive of Black people.

Recently, online publication The Verge interviewed Parikh, who said some of the initial numbers are “encouraging” while others are “embarrassing.” Ultimately, the demographic data will be a jumping-off point for ensuring that the makeup of the organization better reflects the public it serves. Parikh also believes the actions AAAS is taking will create pathways — through its journals, fellowships, and awards — to jumpstart the careers of scientists from underrepresented communities.

If you want to see the full interview with Parikh, have a look right here.

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