The AAS Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) Professional Culture and Climate Subcommittee (PCCS) was formed in 2016 to respond to the broad issues surrounding inclusion in planetary science. Events that transpired in 2020 have drawn sharp attention to the need for such work and for a community response. The subcommittee includes individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and points of view.
Every year, we assist with organizing the annual DPS meeting by analyzing survey results from the previous year’s meeting, having representatives on the organizing committees, and coordinating a plenary talk on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) issues. Previous plenary talks are available on the PCCS webpage (https://dps.aas.org/leadership/climate).
This year much of our work was to help DPS and the community respond to the broader situations of COVID, movements in support of Black lives, and increased recognition of racism. Since the last DPS meeting, we contributed towards organization of community resources:
COVID-19 resources (https://dps.aas.org/covid19-resources)
Actionable steps to make our community more equitable (https://dps.aas.org/inclusivity/actionable-steps)
DPS PCCS Reading list (https://dps.aas.org/pccs-reading-list)
To identify the needs of the community, we spearheaded the DPS Workforce Survey and are currently assisting with its analysis (See presentation by A. Hendrix, this meeting).
We wrote a blog post about inclusivity concerns with the Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey process.
Finally, we assisted in creating a partnership between the DPS and the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) to enhance participation of underrepresented minority scientists in our community. A fund has been set up to support these initiatives (https://dps.aas.org/Inclusivity/support-underrepresented-minority-communities-planetary-science).
What can you do to help make Planetary Science more inclusive? You can support these initiatives by educating yourself (i.e., by viewing EDI presentations, attending the EDI plenary, seeking out resources such as those in the PCCS reading list, and listening to community members with minoritized identities), participating in workforce and demographic surveys, donating to the fund mentioned above, and supporting EDI papers for the decadal survey.