DEI Special Interest Group call recap: Facilitating discussions around DEI

The Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion special interest group organises a series of interactive seminars on issues facing community managers who want to build equitable and diverse cultures in their communities and networks.

This guest blog post, written by Kate Baker and Emily Lescak, recaps the group’s 27 April 2021 seminar, in which 55 people from a range of countries discussed challenges and good practices in facilitating conversations around DEI. 

The event consisted of a panel discussion, chaired by  Janice McNamara, with panelists  Arne Bakker, Yanina Bellini Saibene, Angie Bamgbose, and Vanessa Boon. The discussion was followed by a breakout session to explore the topics in more depth. Here is an overview of the questions discussed.

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DEI Special Interest Group call recap: Decolonizing STEM

CSCCE Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are member-led groups focused on specific topics of scientific community management within CSCCE’s community of practice (request to join). You can find out more about CSCCE SIGs here. The CSCCE Diversity, Equity and Inclusion SIG is convened by Cassandra van Gould, Arielle Bennett-Lovell and Kate Baker, with significant support from an organising committee and the wider community. Community members can join the Slack channel #diversity_equity_inclusion_sig to get involved. 

On the 24th of November the first session of the CSCCE’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Special Interest Group (DEI SIG) took place. In this guest blog post, Esther Plomp and Arielle Bennett-Lovell, who co-convened the session, recap the meeting. You can also watch the three presentations in full. 

During the session, we considered the concept of decolonisation and how it can be put into practice by both researchers and scientific community managers. Decolonisation is both a reflection on the academy’s relationship to lands and people occupied by colonial powers, and the process of reconsidering how this relationship is manifested in a way that restores an equitable power balance. It is not a single action, or a programme, but a long term process requiring input and engagement from everyone. 

To gain a better perspective about the issue, we invited three speakers to show their perspective on decolonising science, and to offer some solutions to ensuring that the scientific research ecosystem is equitable. Below follows a summary of the talks given by Dr. Kate Baker, Dr. Thomas Mboa and Dr. Felicia Fricke. 

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First Birthday Series: CSCCE working groups and special interest groups

For our “First Birthday Series” of blog posts, we are taking some time to reflect on CSCCE’s community of practice, which turned one year old on 21 October 2020. Our first post summarized the community “by the numbers,” then we delved a little deeper into our programming offerings, and last week we discussed our resources and the importance of co-creating together. In this post, jointly authored by Communications Director, Katie Pratt and Center Director, Lou Woodley, we take a look at the scaffolding needed to support working groups and special interest groups – and review what ours have done so far.  

The rationale for working groups and special interest groups

Why might a community decide to establish working groups and/or special interest groups? In an earlier post we discussed community-level programming – activities that are general enough that they are designed to be of interest and value to all members and to create opportunities to get to know one another and identify commonalities. However, within any large enough community, there will also be differentiation into sub-groups who want to focus more deeply on a specific topic – perhaps as an area of professional development or something that supplements a project they need to deliver in their own community role. This differentiation into sub-groups also creates opportunities for emerging leaders within a community – those who are highly engaged and wish to take on more responsibility for advancing the overall mission of the community. It’s this combination of scaling, through the activities and empowerment of these emergent leaders, and dedicated group work that greatly enhances the ability of any community to make progress towards its overall mission. For these activities to be successful, community management is nonetheless needed to support emergent leaders and their groups in their activities.

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CSCCE Special Interest Groups

In addition to our working groups which are often focused on producing a specific output – and which may then close once the group’s goals have been achieved – CSCCE special interest groups (SIGs) are more open-ended opportunities for members to explore a community engagement topic.

Starting in mid-2020, we’re trialing a small number of member-led special interest groups to determine how best staff can support their success while enabling members to pursue their own interests.

Building upon one another’s knowledge! Image credit: CSCCE

Data science SIG

Co-chairs: Alycia Crall and Steve van Tuyl

Channel in the CSCCE Slack: #data_science_sig

About the group: The Data Science SIG is a space for community managers from data science, data science adjacent, and data science interested communities to gather and share activities, updates, and observations. We are especially interested in learning how cross-community information sharing and activities can raise up all of our communities.


Diversity, equity and inclusion SIG

Co-chairs: Kate Baker, Arielle Bennett-Lovell and Cass Gould van Praag

Channel in the CSCCE Slack: #diversity_equity_inclusion_sig

About the group: The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion SIG is a space for community managers to share experiences, ideas, and resources about diversity, equity and inclusion in scientific communities. We want to create a space to talk about what we can do in our own communities and organizations to amplify the voices, stories, and emotions that need to be heard and tackle some of the structural barriers that can prevent equitable participation in science. 

Open Research SIG

Co-chairs: Cass Gould van Praag and Dylan Roskams-Edris

Channel in the CSCCE Slack: #open_research_sig

About the group: The Open Research SIG is a place for people involved in coordinating and promoting open research practices to network, support, share information, experiences and advice.

April’s Community Call Recap – How community managers can support diversity, equity, and inclusion in science

This month’s call challenged us all to think hard about creating and supporting inclusive communities, particularly virtually. Led by the CEFP 2019 DEI Project Team, we explored four topics related to this and used Zoom’s breakout room capability to give participants the opportunity to have small group discussions.

April’s community call showcased four new CSCCE tip sheets created by the CEFP 2019 DEI Project Team.
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April’s community call – Exploring diversity, equity and inclusion

Our next CSCCE Community Call is on Wednesday 22nd April at 2pm Eastern. Join us to discuss running inclusive online events and find out more about the CEFP 2019 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Project Team’s work.

This month we’ll include a breakout style activity as well as presentations during the first hour of the call, and then a 30 minute open discussion for anyone to share their thoughts and experiences.


Join us for April’s community call on diversity, equity and inclusion considerations as a scientific community engagement manager. Image credit: CSCCE
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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) should be central considerations when planning and supporting any scientific community. Our resources on this topic include blog posts and tip sheets to help you to nurture more inclusive communities. By mid-2020 we also plan to add a series of resources about code of conduct creation and implementation.

DEI blog post series

In 2018, a group of the CEFP2017 Fellows comprised of Jennifer Davison, Josh Knackert, Marsha Lucas and Rosanna Volchok created a series of blog posts focused on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion as scientific community managers.

DEI tip sheets

The DEI project team comprised of Kate Baker, Ellen Bechtol, Rayna Harris and Camille Santistevan from the CEFP2019 cohort created a first set of DEI tip sheets focused on four different areas in which scientific community managers can prioritize making their work more inclusive. The tip sheets are intended to provide starting points for further reflection and reading.

DEI tip sheet: Inclusive Marketing

by Kate Baker, Ellen Bechtol, Rayna Harris, Camille Santistevan

April 21, 2020

This DEI tip sheet helps community managers consider inclusive marketing strategies that ensure new content is representative of our communities, and builds trust within them and beyond.

DEI tip sheet: Member recruitment

by Kate Baker, Ellen Bechtol, Rayna Harris, Camille Santistevan

April 21, 2020

This DEI tip sheet helps community managers consider issues of unconscious bias, support structures, and creating diverse leadership committees as part of an inclusive member recruitment strategy.

DEI tip sheet: Childcare at scientific meetings

by Kate Baker, Ellen Bechtol, Rayna Harris, Camille Santistevan

April 21, 2020

This DEI tip sheet walks meeting organizers and community managers through considerations for providing childcare at scientific meetings with a set of reflection questions to show you C.A.R.E. (Childcare, Accommodations for families, Resources and Establishment of social networks)

DEI tip sheet: Decolonizing international research collaborations

by Kate Baker, Ellen Bechtol, Rayna Harris, Camille Santistevan

April 21, 2020

This DEI tip sheet encourages scientific community managers who support international research collaborations to consider ways in which they can help to decolonize the way research is carried out.

We are also creating additional DEI tip sheets in collaboration with members of the CSCCE community of practice. The first of these to be published addresses how to live caption or subtitle an online event.

DEI Tip Sheet: Captioning, subtitles, and transcription for online meetings and events

by Katie Pratt, Camille Santistevan, Lou Woodley, Stefanie Butland, and Cass Gould van Praag

November 12, 2020

In this tip sheet, we offer some solutions for creating captions, subtitles, and transcripts to improve accessibility of your online settings and events.

Community call

April 2020’s community call was led by Kate Baker, Rayna Harris and Camille Santistevan of the CEFP2019 DEI project team.

  • Read the blog post summary of the call here.
  • The recording of the call will be released here in due course.

Code of conduct resources

A code of conduct and accompanying ways of enforcing it and talking about your community’s core values are important for creating an inclusive, safe and welcoming community. CSCCE has a code of conduct working group which is creating resources to share on these topics. The first is our framework for creating core values (below). More to come later in 2020.

Creating core values statements

by Lou Woodley and Katie Pratt

June 26, 2020

The activity described in this worksheet is designed to help you to collaboratively identify and define, as a group, the core values that underpin your work together.

Special interest group

CSCCE has a member-led special interest group focused on DEI. To request to join the group, please drop us an email: info@cscce.org