Special |

Highlighting Research on Health Disparities

A collection aimed at highlighting NPP articles and commentaries that address disparities related to gender, race, ethnicity, LGBTQ+ individuals, and early life adversity

Content

It is increasingly accepted that higher levels of excellence and innovation in research can be achieved by organizations that promote equity, diversity, and inclusion across several domains including ethnicity and gender. The purpose of this commentary is to provide an overview of the methods used to increase diversity within ACNP, as well as recommendations for accelerating progress. Annual membership surveys confirm increases in female membership and leadership positions, slower but encouraging signals for “Asian” and “Hispanic” members, and less progress for African American and other ethnic populations. Meetings have become visibly more diverse, due in part to ethnic minority travel awards and apparently increasing diversity among guest attendees. Evidence of increasing inclusion includes well-attended networking events and minority-relevant programming, active communications about diversity-related events and resources, and strong statements by ACNP leadership that embrace diversity as a core value and support collaboration among key committees and task forces to identify and implement pro-inclusion and diversity-enhancing efforts. We believe ACNP can accelerate progress with more scientifically valid approaches to assessing diversity and inclusion. The current membership survey includes five outmoded ethnic options and postmeeting surveys that are not designed to assess inclusion efforts and consequences. Measures should be developed that better characterize diversity and assess efforts to reduce the barriers that exist for potential non-White populations (e.g., annual membership and meeting attendance costs). Increased collaboration with NIH and other organizations that are committed to these same goals may also contribute to acceleration of progress by ACNP and other scientific organizations.

Comment | Open Access | | Neuropsychopharmacology