The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) considers increasing diversity among its membership to be an opportunity for investment. Indeed, ASPB believes strongly that meeting the serious challenges faced by humanity, including climate change, food insecurity, and diminishing natural resources, will require groups of scientists that exhibit diversity in their career stage, race, gender expression and identity, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, religion, educational background, workplace, and physical and mental abilities. In other words, it is essential that plant biology, as well as science more broadly, draws upon the most comprehensive pool of intellectual talent society has to offer and that it is poised to leverage the creativity potency of diverse teams. ASPB is, therefore, committed to supporting and cultivating an inclusive scientific enterprise that maximally leverages the full societal spectrum of experiences and insights.
We further believe that diversity enriches the intellectual, professional, and social experiences of the membership by providing individuals with different experiences, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds the opportunity to learn and work collaboratively to solve problems creatively and to make richly informed decisions. We recognize that systemic biases are at the root of the underrepresentation of all minoritized populations, and we pledge to equitably address and correct structures that inhibit the full inclusion in plant science of underrepresented people.
ASPB believes that addressing structural barriers and fostering an inclusive climate will help to increase the diversity of the membership and the leadership of the society. Our goals in enhancing inclusiveness are to both appreciate similarities among individuals from diverse groups and to value, respect, support, and build upon our differences. To increase diversity and inclusivity, ASPB is committed to the following:
- Extend the remit of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee to ensure it has a role in informing appointments to leadership roles in the society
- Collaborating within and outside of ASPB to further shared objectives related to diversity and inclusion in the plant sciences
- Establishing equitable processes and practices organization‐wide
- Better understanding our current demographics in order to quantify future progress
- Recruiting and retaining a diverse staff
Being inclusive will enhance ASPB’s ability to create an atmosphere that fosters scientific creativity in plant biology as well as a broader societal understanding of science.
Originally published 2014; revised version approved by ASPB Board of Directors on April 8, 2021.