Welcome to Diversi-tea & Cookies: #marginsci

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Irvin is a graduate student at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences studying aquatic toxicology. He blogs about all things related to environmental sciences, including diversity and inclusion in science, at his blog Toxic Musings.  

Priya is a technician with the Bodega Ocean Acidification Research group at UC Davis’ Bodega Marine Laboratory, who also runs a series on Medium exploring diversity and inclusion in science and academia: The Prosaic Mosaic.

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We are both early career scientists of color in STEM who are deeply invested in diversifying the people within the scientific community as well as the communities that scientists and their science engage with. Priya is the daughter of Indian immigrants and Irvin is the son of Taiwanese immigrants who happens to be gay. We’ve worked with and around each other since we met during our undergraduate education, and we have commiserated on the issues affecting minority scientists and shared resources that have helped us grapple with them. We now want to shine a spotlight on those which have helped us most.

As we’ve just passed the one month anniversary of the March for Science, we wanted to start having more open discussions on the impact the march has had, particularly in bringing up issues of diversity and inclusion that plague science and academia. We started talking about diversity, inclusion and equality in science due to the March for Science leadership’s poor management of this complex and critical issue. At first, we wanted to re-hash everything the March for Science did wrong, because the lead up to the March for Science and the leadership’s treatment of marginalized members of the scientific community are certainly indicative of larger systemic issues in science, but plenty of people have described these and other concerns in greater depth elsewhere.

Instead, we decided it would be more prudent to provide tools that increase awareness about the lack of diversity, inclusion & equality in academia. And, instead of diluting the impact of each of these powerful resources that resonated with us in a single post, we wanted to share them in piecemeal fashion so that we can amplify their worth in a series we are calling Diversi-tea & Cookies.

In this introductory post, we share a resource that was generated in response to the March for Science’s dismissal of marginalized scientists, the Twitter hashtag #marginsci (initially founded by Dr. Stephani Page). This hashtag is a rallying point for many scientists to discuss and share the various ways science is still failing its marginalized scientists. This hub of conversation is also a resource that serves to educate and inform us all about the many issues affecting diverse and intersectional scientists. This oftentimes means that we read things that counter our personal perspectives, but through this painful learning process our empathy increases.

We encourage you to peruse #marginsci and expand your worldview.

~Irvin & Priya