In early June, as Black Lives Matter protests were gathering momentum across the globe, a group of publishers were brought together (virtually of course) by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) to discuss equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in academic publishing activities. While the timing of this workshop was completely coincidental, the experiences shared by Black researchers through, for example, #BlackintheIvory on Twitter lent a sense of urgency to our meeting. Many publishers, The Company of Biologists included, had already begun to think about disparities and biases in publishing, particularly in terms of gender imbalance (as discussed in our recent editorial), but we all recognise that there is much more we need to do.
What came out of that workshop was a Joint Statement committing to action – to better understand our research communities, better reflect that diversity, and to set and share policies to improve EDI practices across multiple publishers. In the video below, I spoke to our Science Communications Officer, Annabel, about the joint statement and the Company’s plans for the future.
We are very much at the beginning of our EDI journey, but we’re looking forward to working with other publishers to come up with concrete actions we can take. And we’re excited about the opportunities that the Node Network has to help diversify our conferences, departmental seminars and other activities – particularly in the virtual world, geography is no boundary to invitations to speak! If you haven’t already signed up for, or looked at, the Node Network, we encourage you to do so.
And, as always, we’re keen to hear from the community about what we should be doing from an EDI perspective, so please do get in touch!