Not just white men in lab coats: Tools for scicomm inclusion

Not just white men in lab coats: Tools for scicomm inclusion

In 2013, science journalist Adrienne LaFrance embarked on a mission. She wanted to know what percentage of the sources she included in her stories were women. The results were, in her words, depressing. Just a quarter of the people she quoted across nearly 2,100 stories were women, and more than half included no women at all. Her colleague Ed Yong followed suit in 2016 and has since expanded his efforts to include LGBTQ sources, immigrants, people of color and people with disabilities.

When we fail to include a diversity of sources in our stories, we risk perpetuating stereotypes, reinforcing biases, diminishing contributions and masking perspectives. We miss opportunities to elevate voices that have traditionally been silenced. Today, we have resources like "500 Women Scientists" and "Diverse Sources," created specifically to help connect science writers with underrepresented scientists. Universities across the country are making concerted efforts to find and highlight experts typically excluded in the media. But as LaFarge, Yong and others have demonstrated, being inclusive can take awareness and effort.

In this session, we will have hard conversations about inclusion, but also about tokenism. We will discuss the systemic challenges that can make it difficult to find diverse sources and experts, but we also want attendees to leave with the skills to bring inclusion into their work, with strategies for increasing representation in science news.

Time:
Saturday, October 26th, 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
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Location:
Alumni Ballroom
Speaker(s):
Lauren Wolf
  Deputy editorial director; executive editor, science, Chemical & Engineering News, Washington, D.C.
Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato
  Freelance science, environment and health journalist, Washington, D.C.
Iqbal Pittalwala
  Senior public information officer, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, Calif.
Moderator(s):
Arvind Suresh
  Manager, science writing and media relations, UPMC and Pitt Health Sciences, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Kelly April Tyrrell
  Senior science writer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisc.
Organizer(s):
Arvind Suresh
  Manager, science writing and media relations, UPMC and Pitt Health Sciences, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Kelly April Tyrrell
  Senior science writer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisc.