By Eilis Hannon, Research Fellow in Bioinformatics, in the Complex Disease Epigenetic Group at the University of Exeter.
This post summarises a discussion with Lawrence Hudson, Roberto Murcio, Penny Andrew and Robin Long as part of the Fellow Selection Day 2017.
The question of how to improve diversity is suitably broad and vague to initially induce silence in a group, but eventually, true to its name, it promotes a wide-ranging discussion. Sometimes the task is divided up to target particular under-represented groups, as it starts to become a bit of a minefield to develop a scheme that improves diversity in general. What opens the door to some parts of society can simultaneously close the doors to others. Hackathon events are a common and successful method of attracting young people to computer science; however, if they take place over the weekend and are marketed as providing beer and pizza for sustenance, you start to exclude anyone with caring responsibilities or discourage anyone who doesn’t drink.
Before we can think about trying to improve diversity, it is helpful to consider what exactly do we mean and what are the benefits…Continue Reading