GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 73-5
Presentation Time: 3:10 PM


BARTEL, Beth, UNAVCO, 6350 Nautilus Drive, Boulder, CO 80301 and BOHON, Wendy, IRIS Consortium, 1200 New York Ave NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20732

Geoscience communicators have a particular responsibility in promoting an ethical, diverse, inclusive culture across the geosciences. By choosing who to present as a scientist and how we present science, we are influencing both public and workforce perceptions of geoscience and geoscientists. Because of geoscience’s poor representation of the U.S. population, we must consciously present the workforce we want, rather than the workforce we have. Similarly, we must work to expand the view of what geoscience is by presenting all aspects of geoscience (data collection or acquisition that may be field-based or not, data analysis in lab or on a computer, experimental work, collaboration, presentation, etc.) and what geoscience culture is by promoting an inclusive culture without assumptions of preferred behaviors or perspectives. In order to diversify geoscience--both the workforce and the science itself--we must change the identity around what it means to be a geoscientist from a limited view to a much broader perspective. Every time we communicate about science, we have the opportunity to challenge and ultimately stretch this perspective.

Importantly, these media and outreach efforts alone will not create the culture we desire. In order to foster an ethical, diverse, and inclusive culture across the geosciences institutions must create the structures and support systems needed to retain the broader workforce we aim to attract. Still, whether producing media targeted specifically toward increasing diversity within the geosciences, amplifying the voices of underrepresented scientists on social media and in mass media, translating materials into multiple languages, or developing rote educational materials, ethics, diversity, and inclusiveness should be a consideration in all science communication and outreach efforts. These messages are key for the general public, for our potential workforce, and also for the existing workforce--the geoscientists who are currently in positions of power to impact cultural change.