Editors’ Vox is a blog from AGU’s Publications Department.
As laid out in AGU’s Strategic Plan, AGU is committed to promoting and exemplifying an inclusive scientific culture, one where “diversity, inclusion, equity, ethics and cultural awareness are embedded and represented in all AGU programs…and operations.” AGU’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan explains the best way to achieve scientific excellence is to include a wide range of perspectives in decision-making, so we can “invigorate problem-solving, balance biases, and facilitate specialization.” AGU Publications believes that a diverse set of scientific perspectives is key to publishing the highest quality geoscience across a range of subdisciplines. Staff and journal editors also support publishing more work on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the geosciences, and to implement changes that will foster a more inclusive environment within the scientific publishing process. To highlight this effort, we have collected journal articles into the special collection, titled “AGU Journals Special Collection on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Geosciences.”
Articles address a variety of social and scientific issues. The editorial boards of JGR: Biogeosciences and JGR: Earth Surface lay out actionable journal plans for promoting DEI within our publications (Xenopoulos et al., 2022; East et al., 2022), including work to increase diversity within the editorial boards and tackling bias in the peer review process. Vernon Morris reflects on being a Black professor and how to combat structural racism in geoscience programs partly by learning from HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions (Morris 2021). Copperdock et al. (2021) explain how to reduce harm and increase inclusion in the lab, field, and classroom. Harris et al. (2021) propose an ethical framework via an “Equitable Exchange” to further knowledge co-production and integrate inclusive practices into the geosciences. Research in Earth’s Future finds that heatwave exposure disproportionately affects low-income people and urgent adaptation efforts are needed to reduce heat-stress inequality (Alizadeh et al., 2022). AGU Publications analyzes journal data to assess the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our authors (Wooden & Hanson., 2022). In our newest journal, Community Science, Ulman and Kassam (2022) describe how Indigenous knowledge systems provide a foundational base for strategic action in response to the climate crisis while applying complementary knowledge sources from the biophysical and social sciences.
Other topics include confronting racism in the geosciences, increasing representation in academic programs, cooperative research and co-creation of knowledge with local communities, and increasing social diversity in hazards management to diversify approaches and improve outcomes.
Though the collection is made up of previously published research and commentaries, we also welcome new contributions that highlight specific issues or propose effective ways to bring about change. Please send a summary (<200 words) of proposed articles to [email protected] for evaluation by our journal editorial boards; suggested author names and preferred journal(s) are also welcome. Please include “DEI Special Collection” in your subject line.
—Paige Wooden ([email protected];