Special Session SS7  5 April 2018

Equity and diversity in astronomy

Aims and scope

The Equity and Diversity session will discuss equity and diversity topics in astronomy, in addition to the lunch time plenary session. The session will address a variety of equity and diversity themes, which affect students and staff alike, including (but not limited to) gender, disability, neuro-diversity, race, religion, socio-economic background, age and sexual orientation and the intersections between them.

The session talks will cover a variety of issues, and discuss the statistics of minority representation, the initiatives in place to improve conditions, and how bullying and harassment within universities can be combatted both on a national and international/European scale. The session will host speakers from outside of astronomy and academia, including experts in unconscious (or implicit) bias training and mental health awareness. The session will also present the results from the EAS and RAS demographics surveys for the first time, and discuss the results. We aim to make equity and diversity a regular discussion and will adhere to the EAS code throughout the session planning and execution. This parallel and lunch session is a place to discuss positive and negative experiences for the community, where everyone is very welcome.

The main goals of this session are:

  • 1. Stimulate an atmosphere of openness and welcoming for the entire astronomical community.
  • 2. Highlight areas of inequity and lack of diversity.
  • 3. Promote positive resolutions to issues of diversity and equity. Particularly encouraging unconscious (or implicit) bias training, imposter syndrome workshops and Mental Health awareness.
  • 4. Highlight best practices for universities, research institutions and other employers for dealing with bullying and harassment, in order to create the best departments where people can do their best research.
  • 5. Discuss European equity initiatives and how they have contributed to the improvement of working conditions.

  • We welcome peoples ideas, experiences, comments or questions. Please send them to the email address below.

    Sponsored by Nature and Nature Astronomy


    • Session One, chaired by Violeta Gonzalez-Perez and Johan Knapen

    • 9.00am-9.45am Unconscious Bias Workshop, Katja Poppenhaeger, Queen's University Belfast.
    • 9.45am-10.30am Panel Discussion, Sona Farmanyan - Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, Yerevan, Armenia, Kate Hollinshead - Equaliteach, St Neots, United Kingdom and Marina Orio - Inaf-Padova (Italy) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA), Madison, United States

    • 1pm-2.30pm Lunch time plenary session in Hall 1A (LS1), chaired by Sara Lucatello.

    • Session Two, chaired by Sheila Kanani.
    • 2.30pm - 3pm Racial diversity in Astronomy Nana Ama Browne Klutse - Ghana Space Science And Technology Institute, Accra, Ghana
    • 3pm-3.20pm Written In Our Southern Stars? Gender in Australian Astronomy, Sarah Brough - UNSW Sydney, Kensington, Australia
    • 3.20pm-3.40pm The RAS Demographic Survey: Understanding the UK workforce in Astronomy and Space Science, Robert Massey - Royal Astronomical Society, London, United Kingdom
    • 3.40pm-4pm Dire Straights: The Trials and Tribulations of LGBT Scientists, Ashley Spindler - The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

    • Session Three, chaired by Emmanouil Angelakis
    • 4.30pm-4.50pm Neurodiversity, Society and Science, Robert Burston - University Of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom
    • 4.50pm-5.10pm You can not have ADHD - you have a PhD! Victoria Scowcroft - University Of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom
    • 5.10pm -5.30pm How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My PhD, Kate Furnell - Liverpool John Moores University, Merseyside, United Kingdom
    • 5.30pm- 5.50pm The Tactile Universe, Nicolas Bonne - Institute Of Cosmology And Gravitation, University Of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, United Kingdom
    • 5.50pm-6pm Closing Remark, Helen Jermak - Liverpool John Moores University, UK.

    Invited speakers

    Scientific organisers

  • Helen Jermak (Liverpool JM University, UK) (Chair - parallel)
  • Sara Lucatello (Observatory of Padova, Italy) (Chair - plenary)
  • Sheila Kanani (Royal Astronomical Society, UK)
  • Marios Karouzos (Nature Astronomy, UK)
  • Johan Knapen (IAC, Spain, EAS Council.)
  • Violeta Gonzalez-Perez (Portsmouth University, UK)
  • Isabel Marquez (Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, Spain.)
  • Emmanouil Angelakis (Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Germany.)
  • Paul Woods (Nature Astronomy, UK.)
  • Contact
    For enquiries please email Helen Jermak at h.e.jermak @ ljmu.ac.uk

    Updated on Fri Mar 30 12:13:22 CEST 2018