Empowering first generation scientists with Gabriel Reyes

Read the full post from the Federation of American Scientists.

For many students in the U.S. a career in science is out of reach. Too often young people interested in science never get the chance to pursue their dreams simply because they come from low-income families or live in parts of the country where opportunities to engage in scientific research are limited. This leads to a critical lack of diversity in the scientific community that stifles creativity, innovation and progress. 

FLi Sci, short for first-generation/low-income scientists, is an education nonprofit that addresses the root causes of lack of diversity in the scientific profession. The organization provides financial support for high school and college students in poverty to access, pursue, and engage in scientific opportunities. The flagship program is a two-year paid fellowship during which students are able to conduct their own independent research projects.  

FLi Sci recently became a member of FAS’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program which identifies burgeoning entrepreneurs in science and technology policy and supports their philanthropic endeavors. Gabriel Reyes, FLi Sci’s founder and Executive Director, sat down with us to discuss his organization’s pioneering work and how his own experiences as a scientist inspired him to make a difference.

Guide to tracking source diversity

Read the full story at the Open Notebook.

Tracking the diversity of sources included in media stories is one key tool in journalists’ work to make sure that their stories reflect the communities they cover, particularly with respect to including communities that have historically been underrepresented and marginalized. At its core, source diversity tracking can be quite simple; it’s the process of collecting information about sources’ race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, disability status, or other identities. This information, when aggregated, gives newsrooms or individual journalists a fuller picture of who they are including in their stories.

The prospect of beginning to track demographic information about one’s sources, whether as an individual reporter or as part of a whole-newsroom effort, can seem daunting. What aspects of diversity should you track, and what is the goal? How should you gather the information? Will sources be offended if they are asked to disclose information about their race, gender, or other aspects of their identity? Does asking for such information violate any privacy laws? How do you avoid tokenism in setting goals for source diversity?

The museum built on Native American burial mounds

Read the full story at Pro Publica.

For decades, Dickson Mounds Museum in Illinois displayed the open graves of more than 200 Indigenous people. Thirty years after a federal law required museums to begin returning remains, the statewide museum system still holds thousands.

The Sierra Club tries to move past John Muir, George Floyd and #MeToo

Read the full story in the New York Times.

For three years, the nation’s most prominent environmental organization has been ruminating about its past and future. Like many other American institutions, the Sierra Club was convulsed by the 2020 murder of George Floyd, beset by painful questions about its mission and history, including whether its founder, John Muir, was biased against people of color.

Now, the organization is trying to emerge from the other side of that appraisal. It has named Ben Jealous, a civil rights activist, author, investor and nonprofit leader as its new executive director.

Mr. Jealous, 50, chief executive of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 2008 to 2013, is the first person of color to lead the Sierra Club. (The club has had three people of color on its board serve as president.)

Prairie Research Institute offers summer internships

In collaboration with the Graduate College’s Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP), PRI is offering hands-on summer internships that will enable undergraduate students from populations underrepresented in graduate study at Illinois to explore careers in applied science. This opportunity is open to students at any U.S. undergraduate institution. 

During the eight-week summer program, interns will be immersed in hands-on field and lab projects led by scientists from INHS, ISWS, and ISTC. Interns will also participate in professional and career development activities and will learn about the pathway to graduate study.

Each summer intern will receive a $4,000 stipend, funds to cover travel to and from Urbana-Champaign, and on-campus housing and meals, plus supplies for workshops and symposiums.

There are opportunities in atmospheric science and climate; biology, ecology, and environmental science; sustainable energy; and water supply and safety. To see all of the internship options and to apply, visit https://go.illinois.edu/PRI-interns

The deadline to apply is Fri., March 3, 2023. 

How to build a better bike-share program

Read the full story at Grist.

When corporate owners ditched New Orleans’s bike share, the community stepped up to rebuild it with a focus on equity.

You’ve heard of mentorship in science, but what about sponsorship?

Read the full story in Nature.

Senior academics need to understand how the two differ and how sponsorship can promote diversity in research.

From open access to openly accessible

Read the full story at Research Information.

For an increasing number of publishers and societies, how to thrive in an open access world has become a critical strategy discussion in recent years. Change is now inevitable, and the benefits are more widely understood, with the pandemic making clear the real-world impact that rapid and open dissemination of research can make.

Part of the solution to this changing world for Wiley was to introduce Wiley Partner Solutions at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year. A manifestation of what we see in industry trends, it enables the publishers and scholarly societies we work with to grow connections between researchers and the organisations that serve them, and ensures that all research findings are widely available and reusable.

Yet thriving in an open access world goes beyond making research available to as many people as possible or making sure to address FAIR data principles. It is imperative that we now also consider how to ensure that research is as accessible as possible.

New paper offers best practices for LGBTQ+ field scientists and mentors

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

People from marginalized gender and sexual identities can have safer experiences participating in ecological field research when leaders incorporate better field safety protocols and advocate for systemic changes, according to a new paper authored by scientists from Earlham College, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and other institutions.

The paper, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, offers best practices for LGBTQ+ inclusion based on evidence-based strategies currently in use by the authors. The paper also underscores the role of systematic inclusion in attracting and retaining a qualified, richly diverse workforce.

Finding diverse sources for science stories

Read the full post at The Open Notebook.

Here, we compile detailed and specific resources and strategies that reporters can use to make that goal a reality, drawing on the wealth of information available from many U.S.-based organizations and scientists. Strategies for finding diverse sources can include drawing on publicly available scientist databases, social media accounts and hashtags, affinity organizations in STEM, sources, colleagues, public information officers, expert-referral services, and online discussion groups. We also suggest ways for editors to support reporters’ efforts to include more diverse sources, including by creating a newsroom culture that welcomes collaborative discussion about diversity (in sourcing and other respects), by setting and tracking goals, and by encouraging and concretely supporting reporters’ sourcing efforts.