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Achieving diversity in science

Science has a diversity problem. Many groups are underrepresented in research including women, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and socially disadvantaged populations. Attention to the issue is growing, and some institutions and scientific communities are actively seeking to increase diversity. But far more needs to be done.

This collection of articles, a collaboration between Nature Research and Scientific American, focuses on the barriers faced by women and how they might be overcome, but also includes articles about the challenges encountered by other underrepresented groups in science. The collection highlights our long-standing commitment to covering gender-related issues and other aspects of diversity. We hope that this collection will stimulate discussion and build support for greater diversity in research and beyond. 

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Opinion and Analysis

  • Nature Geoscience | Comment

    Ethnic and racial diversity are extremely low among United States citizens and permanent residents who earned doctorates in earth, atmospheric and ocean sciences. Worse, there has been little to no improvement over the past four decades.

    • Rachel E. Bernard
    •  &  Emily H. G. Cooperdock
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Speaking at a scientific conference helps spread scientific results and is also fundamental for career advancement. Here the authors show that at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, the largest Earth and space science conference, women are offered speaking opportunities less often than men overall.

    • Heather L. Ford
    • , Cameron Brick
    • , Karine Blaufuss
    •  &  Petra S. Dekens
  • Nature Biotechnology | Feature

    Two years after the biotech industry was called out on gender imbalance, the lack of racial diversity in the workforce is largely being ignored.

    • Brady Huggett
  • Nature Biotechnology | Careers and Recruitment

    Psychosocial mentoring for both students and managers can help people from different backgrounds develop into a team and a community.

    • Maggie Werner-Washburne
  • Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology | Comment

    Fiona M. Watt at King’s College London Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (UK) discusses how gender balance in the scientific community is evolving.

    • Fiona M. Watt


  • Nature Neuroscience | Editorial

    Neuroscience is not spared from wrestling with gender disparity issues. Progress toward more balanced representation has been slow, but improvement is possible with consistent and focused efforts.

  • Nature Ecology & Evolution | Editorial

    Science, including the fields of ecology and evolution, must advocate a zero-tolerance policy towards harassment and bullying. This means promoting safe workspaces in all contexts, and letting go of the idea that fieldwork entails special circumstances.

  • Nature Chemistry | Editorial

    Chemistry research and education face challenges anywhere in the world, but more so in less developed — or less stable — economies. These countries and their more economically fortunate neighbours can all contribute to the development of chemistry and its ability to tackle local and global issues.

  • Nature Geoscience | Editorial

    Despite much emphasis on diversity in the US, geoscience remains one of the least diverse scientific disciplines. If we want to achieve and maintain diversity, we need to make our work environments welcoming to a broad spectrum of voices.

  • Nature Biotechnology | Editorial

    No matter where you look in biopharmaceutical boardrooms, gender bias is evident. Is it so difficult to actually acknowledge this pernicious bias and actively discourage all-male boards?

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