I was interviewed by The New York Times on issues of equity and diversity in the March for Science:
‘It set off alarm bells,’ said Zuleyka Zevallos an applied sociologist from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia. ‘How can we trust them to look after inclusion and accessibility if they are going to buckle under pressure?’
The statements from the organisers in this article are easily disproved from public record. For example, the organisers resisted the idea that science is political, and they have created a series of sexist, racist and ablesit problems (discrimination against people with disabilities). They have completely ignored the needs and representation of LGBTQIA scientists.
The organisers have also inadvertently created an anti-diversity discourse the fuels exclusion amongst their supporters.
Most tellingly, several women have left the organising committee due to a toxic organisational culture, with influential women of colour in particular leaving after months of problems.
The problems with the march reflect broader issues of discrimination in science and academia. This includes a lack of awareness about the structural barriers inhibiting the full participation and success of minorities and White women in research. The march is also plagued by ineffective leadership, policy and practice responses to diversity, which is another troubling hallmark of science.
We must do better to ensure everyone can achieve their full potential in science.