Equality, diversity, and inclusion in science fieldwork and research

Not everyone has the opportunity to do science research or to do field work. I’m one of the lucky ones, but I don’t think the opportunity should be down to luck. In an effort to make the world of science more diverse, honest and open, I am publishing my experiences online as I go.

The benefits of diversity are obvious. The more diverse people we have in a team, the greater the variety of thinking and so the broader the solutions to problems. Polar science is no longer the realm of the white man, but we have a long way to go before there is equal opportunity.

I have taken one angle – albeit some would say a trivial one – diet. As an environmentalist, my plant-based diet is important to me. I accept that I cannot follow this diet in some countries, but I have never had a problem finding vegetarian food at least. For field work to be accessible to all, I believe catering to different diets is an easy start, and allows the inclusion of multiple cultures, beliefs, and medical conditions.

Two Arctic research expeditions formed the basis of the data collection for my PhD. I was pleasantly surprised that the ship I was to be working on could provide me with vegan food. To read about my experiences, see the following blog series. Fair warning, I try to be humourous.

1. Vegan at Seagan

2. Vegan at Sea again