Diversity in Geoscience UK was set up in 2018 as the UK chapter of the International Association for Geoscience Diversity.
Who are we?
Diversity in Geoscience (DiG-UK) is the UK-based chapter of the International Association for Geoscience Diversity (IAGD). Our aim is to improve equality, diversity and inclusivity within the UK geosciences by raising awareness of the challenges faced by under-represented groups, and working with educators and employers to support the development of a more diverse and inclusive geoscience community. We believe that everyone should be able to access education and careers of their choice, suited to their skillsets, and without barriers to participation.
Which subjects do we cover?
DiG-UK apply the term ‘geoscience’ in its very broadest sense, to include any subject related to the study of the Earth and its systems, including the impact of human activity on the environment. Allied subjects include, but are not necessarily restricted to, geology, geography, environmental science, aspects of bioscience (e.g. ecology, zoology), archaeology and civil engineering. An important characteristic of these subjects is that they require learners to participate in fieldwork, sometimes a considerable amount of fieldwork, particularly at undergraduate level. Exploring issues around participation in fieldwork is therefore of particular interest to DiG-UK.
Why do we exist?
Geosciences are key for the 21st century. They address critical issues that affect us locally and globally including the impact of human activity on the natural environment, the search and development of new and existing resources, and understanding and mitigating the effects of climate change. To best understand, and find solutions to, current and future issues we need talented geoscientists with diverse abilities and a diverse range of perspectives.
Currently, however, this diversity is lacking because certain groups are choosing not to engage with the geosciences. This includes (but is not restricted to) groups defined by gender, disability, race and ethnicity, sexuality and social class. We want to understand why this is, and find ways to overcome some of the barriers to engagement that exist for these groups within education, academia and industry.
Ways in which access and inclusion in the geosciences can be improved include:
- Reducing / removing barriers to participation across different levels of education (i.e. addressing the ‘pipeline’)
- Identifying role models to promote geoscience to specific groups
- Finding ways to reduce known attainment gaps
- Raising awareness within industry of the benefits of diversity
- Helping education and industry to better understand how to support diverse learners / employees