EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Early Survey Results and Broader Viewpoints for Promoting Inclusive Conferences in the Earth and Space Sciences

Beverly Smith-Keiling and Andreas Keiling
Beverly Smith-Keiling and Andreas Keiling

From the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights to current diversity statements, science entities in the U.S. and globally promote and enhance diversity and equity. For example, EGU, AGU, and Europlanet aim to ‘improve equality of opportunity and diversity’, ‘foster an inclusive environment where science and scientific careers can flourish’, and ‘build a diverse inclusive community,’ respectively. One of these areas is in scientific conferences, not only in the participation in the conference but also engagement and representation at every level.

Observations were made and strategies employed while hosting (together with colleagues) four AGU Chapman conferences between 2011-2016. As we focused on intentionally increasing inclusion, the first conference was exploratory, the second observational, the third was not intervened, and for the fourth conference, efforts were made at each step, e.g. increased representation of women at 20%, support diverse country and socioeconomic participation, etc. All four conferences aimed to promote interdisciplinary scientific discussions among solar and heliospheric scientists, and magnetospheric and ionospheric scientists for Earth and other planets with icebreaker activities and cultural programs from four different global regions: (1) Alaska, (2) Iceland, (3) South Korea, and (4) Croatia. Each conference posed new challenges.

Within the social ecological framework, individual and interpersonal inner-level determinants were our primary target leading us to seek broader viewpoints through an internationally distributed survey. In this presentation, we describe challenges, best-practice interventions, and share some early survey results about what constitutes an inclusive conference. We continue to seek and share INCLUSIVE strategies to promote advocacy for policy changes and for additional measures that could be applied at the conference initiation. 

How to cite: Smith-Keiling, B. and Keiling, A.: Early Survey Results and Broader Viewpoints for Promoting Inclusive Conferences in the Earth and Space Sciences, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22324,, 2020

Comments on the presentation

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Presentation version 1 – uploaded on 02 May 2020
  • CC1: conveners, Maria Bostenaru Dan, 03 May 2020


    I don't understand your definition of convener. Is it like at the EGU?

    many thanks

    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Beverly Smith-Keiling, 08 May 2020

      Hi Maria, We use the same definition of organizer and convener. If there is more diversity at the early stages of planning, there is often more diversity later but also having organizer/conveners consider inclusion earlier be it on their own, an influencer, or policy guidelines makes a difference.

      • CC2: Reply to AC1, Maria Bostenaru Dan, 08 May 2020

        I see. As a long time convener (20 years) I am happy to hear this definition, but my university thinks they are not co-organisers if I do just a session. I've convened sessions also at other conferences (eurodoc, euroscience) so it would be nice to know how to put them in CV.

        There are many things like this in the grey zone, for example for Marie Curie individual fellowships it is not clear who is the principal investigator.