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Friday, February 21, 2020

Equity and Inclusion in ISCB

The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) is acutely aware that global science is facing substantial challenges regarding equity and inclusion. Current science is still dominated by males and by what is shortly called "the West". In our Society, we are vigorously working to bring this skew into balance. We are actively pursuing balance in our governing bodies, most relevantly in our Board of Directors and slate of Officers. Furthermore, we have implemented processes towards achieving more balance in our suite of award winners, Fellows, and invited conference keynotes. We are guiding our affiliated conferences on the importance of diversity balance within their own programs. We also encourage our members to support these endeavors by providing nominations of excellent scientists from all corners of science and of the world to all of ISCB's programs.

At the same time, we are aware that improving equity and inclusion is a process that requires long-term dedication. Progress indicated by corresponding statistics will only be observed gradually. Moreover, while the criterion of balance is an important one it is not the only one in science.

We continually revisit our procedures for progress towards equity and inclusion and assess their efficacy. We do not think that automated procedures of assessment are appropriate for this purpose. Algorithms performing such categorization suffer from inherent limitations that distort the notion of balance we are striving for. Specifically, categorization of disjoint regional, ethnic or gender groups of scientists, while easing classification, also functions divisively.

We are committed to continuing and strengthening our efforts towards achieving equity and inclusion in our Society and invite the members of our Society and the scientific community to engage in a dialog with us on this issue.
URL: https://www.iscb.org/iscb-news-items/4257-2020-feb20-iscb-announcement

Contact Person: Nadine Costello (ncostello@iscb.org)

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