Statement from the scicomm trainers network

The SciComm Trainers Network prioritizes and works to foster equity and inclusion, and the Core Team recognizes that our community has a responsibility to respond to the most recent waves of violence which has plagued the US and so many other countries for generations. We acknowledge and honor the Black lives ended too soon – including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade – as well as far too many others who have died at the hands of police over the years and more recently as a result of the disparate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black, Latinx, and Native communities. We stand in solidarity with the protestors. We support efforts to learn, spread, and amplify anti-racist behaviors and to dismantle old and deeply entrenched racist systems, including and especially white supremacy.

As stated in our charter, the SciComm Trainers Network exists “to cultivate a community of individuals and organizations who are committed to advancing science communication training that builds scientists’ capacity to engage diverse audiences and strengthen relationships across society.” 

The Core Team understands this as a Network commitment to recognize, name, and dismantle systems which discriminate against and oppress people and communities of color, including and especially Black people and communities. This includes recognizing and naming that our community has traditionally privileged and primarily benefited majoritized groups, including and especially white people.

Our Network was formed to grapple with and address core questions in #scicomm training, including: Who has this been for? What has this been for? Whose knowledge has counted? How might we, as a community, confront this past and present? How might we collectively build a meaningful community which not only avoids replicating past inequitable structures, but adds value to our community because it has done the work which would enable members of color to thrive? 

We cannot live up to our guiding principles – including accountability, respectful collaboration,  inspiring community, and especially equitable inclusion – without working together to develop and grow a nascent Network that lives up to these principles as well as building capacity for Network members to reshape their own home institutions to be actively anti-racist.

To this end, the members of the Core Team have a few actions – some suggested by members – that we commit to pursuing. We:

  • Support the members of the Network to shape infrastructure, activities, and a future for the SciComm Trainers Network which lives up to our values. This may include developing task force projects that center and advance anti-racism or co-developing convening programming that more deeply embeds racial justice in our collective and individual work. As members of a Core Team which serves the SciComm Trainers Network – but can and must not make decisions for it without the advice and consent of the membership – we commit to creating the space and time for our community to chart an equitable and inclusive course which promotes social justice.
  • Will share how we, as a Core Team, are actively centering equity in all layers of Network activity (including Weaver hiring), gratefully receiving feedback from members about where we fall short and should do better, and working to implement changes.
    Will actively support and promote opportunities for Network members – especially white members – to learn from and educate each other on how to dismantle white supremacy and foster anti-racist environments in their home institutions, so that colleagues and students of color are able to thrive.
  • We further commit to being more actively transparent in moving forward, and welcome questions about our efforts and activities to date – especially as it relates to our commitment to principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The SciComm Trainers Network Core Team

Elyse Aurbach 

Darcy Gentleman 

Rose Hendricks 

Eve Klein 

Jai Ranganathan