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The Ethics of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice in the Earth System Sciences

Presentation #203.02 in the session Driving Towards a More Diverse Space Physics Research Community – Perspectives, Initiatives, Strategies, and Actions.

Published onOct 20, 2022
The Ethics of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice in the Earth System Sciences

Efforts to elevate diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) in the Earth system sciences have thankfully made progress over the past couple of years, as these imperatives are more broadly discussed in academic and research circles, the private sector, and professional societies. Institutions’ motivations for pursuing DEIJ vary but often center around the benefits to the organization or science community. This argument is known as the business case for diversity and many studies have supported its arguments. It is proven that diverse teams bring a broad range of knowledge and experience to the table, are more creative and set high bars for research and scholarly excellence, producing ideas that are both more innovative and more feasible than those produced by homogeneous groups. As motivation for investing in and supporting DEIJ efforts institutions must also consider moral responsibilities for doing so. This talk will discuss why the business case for diversity alone is flawed and potentially harmful for scholars from marginalized groups. Institutions can make more progress towards diversifying its workforce by acknowledging their moral responsibilities for doing so and transitioning to an equity-centered approach. The talk will share practical steps for creating and nurturing a transformative culture in institutions that embodies DEIJ as a foundational component to support their community and workforce.

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