EGU announces new EDI logo for the 2021 General Assembly
5 October 2020
In 2016, a group of supporters of the principles of equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) put together an EGU General Assembly session calling for abstracts on promoting and supporting EDI in the geosciences. The session was such a success that it has been repeated every year since. The open call for abstracts created an opportunity for many new voices to share their experiences, challenges, and solutions. After creating this momentum, EDI issues became a topic of high-level discussions through EGU’s Great Debates and Union Symposia.
This increased exposure led to a proposal by EGU President Montanari to create an EGU EDI working group, which the EGU Council approved in 2018. A small group of people (Marie Bocher, Daniel Conley, Liviu Matenco, and Holly Stein) who were engaged in organising many activities at EGU General Assemblies were invited to be members, and the Council appointed Claudia Jesus-Rydin as the group’s chair.
The EGU’s commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion of opportunities in the geosciences was renewed and energised, and providing a safe, open, accessible, and respectful environment for participants at all our events remains a priority. In addition, as a means of fostering diversity, conveners organising sessions at the EGU General Assembly have been asked to consider their team’s diversity with respect to career stage, gender, geography, and scientific approaches.
The new logo
To highlight this guidance and recognise these principles, EGU will now award sessions with an EDI logo (see below) in the General Assembly programme when a team of conveners fulfills specific EDI criteria. For a session to be branded with the new logo in 2021, it must:
1. Include conveners from multiple countries and institutes, preferably with a diverse representation of geoscientists from the wider European community or beyond;
2. Have conveners from different career stages, including at least one ECS (but not only ECS); and
3. Include conveners that represent more than one form of gender identity.
Any session convened by teams that fulfill all three criteria will be eligible to display the new logo.
“I am very proud of this new logo for many reasons,” says Jesus-Rydin, who continues to serve as the working group’s chair. “The new logo recognizes EDI in EGU sessions, which we hope will raise awareness and work as a catalyst to build diverse teams. EGU 2021 will be our pilot, and we hope the number of sessions displaying the logo will increase each year.”
A bottom-up initiative
Jesus-Rydin notes that the new EDI logo is a bottom-up initiative. “The logo is particularly dear to me because it was suggested by a group of EGU members who led a very successful sedimentology session during our 2020 annual meeting,” she says. “To be trusted with suggestions from our community,” she adds, “is a great honour and joy.”
For Jesus-Rydin, the initiative fits into her overall vision of the working group’s role. “The EDI logo illustrates in many ways my vision for the role of the EDI group: to serve our community by working together to find solutions,” she says. “The logo proposal was received with great interest by all parties at EGU, who unanimously supported the idea and its immediate implementation.” These parties include Copernicus, EGU’s conference organiser, as well as EGU’s EDI Working Group, Programme Committee, and Council. “I’d especially like to thank Peter van der Beek, EGU’s Programme Committee Chair, for his strong support,” says Jesus-Rydin.
The new logo complements the Early Career Scientist (ECS) logo, which is placed next to the name of any researcher who self-identifies as being an undergraduate or postgraduate student, or a scientist who has received their highest degree within the past seven years. If parental leave falls within that period, students or researchers may also add up to one year of parental leave per child.
Additional areas of focus
The EDI Working Group is also focusing on a number of additional initiatives. These include:
- A special issue in the Advances in Geosciences Journal dedicated to EDI. This was published as a joint initiative with AGU and JpGU (completed)
- Awards & medals, including the nominations process and the representativeness of nominees and awardees (ongoing)
- Inaccessibility issues related to the General Assembly and other EGU-sponsored meetings (e.g., colour vision deficiency and other physical limitations as well as childcare) (ongoing)
- Mentoring programme (ongoing)
- Surveys and data collection (ongoing)
- Website accessibility
- Increasing collaboration and open dialogue with other EGU entities (committees, Council, etc.) (ongoing)
- Increasing visibility and collaboration with the community, which is the only way the EDI group’s mission can be accomplished (ongoing)
- Unconscious bias training within the organisation (approval pending)
- Solidarity fund to support EDI activities (under discussion)
EGU’s EDI working group also collaborates closely with the EGU Council as well as representatives from partner organisations, including AGU, EAG, GSA, and JpGU, to create a joint forum for discussing challenges and finding solutions within the global scientific community.
“Most EDI issues are a reflection of complex societal problems, which cannot be solved by scientific societies alone,” says Jesus-Rydin. “But this should not be used as an alibi,” she adds. Jesus-Rydin emphasies that scientific societies should do their utmost to avoid reproducing societal injustices within their structures and procedures. “We may not be able to solve EDI problems throughout the world, but as individuals and institutions, we must be accountable for the ‘part of the world’ in our immediate remit and influence,” she says.
The EDI Working Group is currently seeking new members, preferably including at least one Early Career Scientist. “If you are interested in contributing to these objectives,” says Jesus-Rydin, “please submit an application by 21 October.”
If you have any suggestions for the EDI Working Group, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org