24 May 2018

Encouraging Diversity and Support of Early Career Scientists at the 2018 Fall Meeting

Posted by Joshua Speiser

Denis-Didier Rousseau, Fall Meeting Program Chair

Denis-Didier Rousseau, Fall Meeting Program Chair

Before you know it the 2018 Fall Meeting, the world’s largest Earth and Space scientists, will be here! Excitement about the meeting is apparent as more than 1300 session proposals have already been submitted for consideration and the Fall Meeting program committee is working hard to propose the best scientific program out of them. If you are one of those who submitted a session proposal, we are grateful for your commitment to share your scientific interests with your colleagues and more broadly help illustrate the larger story of “What Science Stands For.”

As session proponents receive confirmation of their session proposals with additional guidance in the coming weeks, there are two important elements that the Fall Meeting Program Committee and AGU are recommending as they prepare the upcoming call for abstracts and that we want to share with AGU members.

Overall, in 2018, there is a crucial need to build up and strengthen the next generation of Earth and space scientists. These are the individuals who will ensure both an ongoing commitment to AGU and a strong future for the Earth and space sciences. To accomplish this goal, we would ask that they encourage early career scientists by giving them the opportunity to present oral presentations at the Fall meeting or to participate in the set-up of the session organization as co-conveners and session chairs.

The second area of consideration comes from the findings of papers by Bernard et al. (1) and Ford et al. (2), the latter of which surveyed Fall Meeting abstract database. This research concluded that there is a need to incorporate more diverse ethnic and gender voices among our cadre of co-conveners and session presenters. Thus, diversity, scientific merit, and interest in submitted abstracts should all be considered strongly when selecting co-conveners and session presenters.

On behalf of the Program Committee, I hope that you will take up these recommendations to help make Fall Meeting a shining example of exemplary gender diversity and the promotion of early career scientists.

We look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C. in December.

(1) Bernard, R.E., Cooperdock, E.H.G., 2018. No progress on diversity in 40 years. Nature Geoscience 11, 292-295.
(2) Ford, H.L., Brick, C., Blaufuss, K., Dekens, P.S., 2018. Gender inequity in speaking opportunities at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. Nature Communications 9, 1358.