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

AGU Ethics Diversity and Inclusion: Leveraging Partnerships to Achieve Inclusive Excellence

Billy Williams, Brooks Hanson, and Robin Bell
Billy Williams et al.
  • Washington, United States of America (

The American Geophysical Union, a scientific society of > 60,000 members worldwide, has undertaken strategic initiatives over the past twenty-four months, to help spotlight and address important issues around ethics, diversity and inclusion.  Most recently, this work has focused on building partnerships and a unique coalition of societies to help extend and promote leading ethics and diversity practices across STEM. These recent advancements build on AGU’s earlier work of establishing an updated AGU Ethics Policy which defines sexual harassment as scientific misconduct and its more recent adoption of an updated AGU Diversity and Inclusion Strategic plan – providing a vision and roadmap for AGU to operate as a model organization for advancing diversity and inclusion in science.

This presentation will review AGU global demographics considerations, highlight key features of the AGU Diversity and Inclusion Strategic plan, and will include an update on key programmatic work and unique resources provided through the AGU Ethics and Equity Center and its partner organizations. AGU’s role in the formation of a consortium of more than 120 scientific societies to help leverage D&I-related leading practices and influence culture change—will also be discussed, including progress to date, preliminary program metrics, and remaining challenges and opportunities.

How to cite: Williams, B., Hanson, B., and Bell, R.: AGU Ethics Diversity and Inclusion: Leveraging Partnerships to Achieve Inclusive Excellence , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5943,, 2020

Comments on the presentation

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Presentation version 1 – uploaded on 24 Apr 2020
  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-5943, Melinda Dósa, 04 May 2020

    Hi, I am Melinda Dosa from Budapest, Wigner Reserch Centre for Physics, author of another abstract of this session. Can you tell us a little bit more about AGU Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan? Just some key points, or success stories, etc. Thank you :)

    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Billy Williams, 04 May 2020

      Hi Melinda, A link to the AGU Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan is here: .   This provides a vision for AGU to become a model organzation for D&I practices, and lays out five goals for doing so.  The plan was adopted by AGU Council and Board of Directors based on work from a D&I Task Force, and after an open comment period with feedback from AGU members.  We are now in process of implementing many of the specific tactical items listed under the goals.  Also, please know that AGU also recently updated the AGU Strategic Plan for the full organziation, as found here: .  There are three strategic goals for AGU in the updated AGU Strategic Plan.  Goal #2 is "Promote and exemplify an inclusive scientific culture."   

      • AC2: Reply to AC1, Billy Williams, 04 May 2020

        An example of success is that we now have required D&I training for all AGU elected leaders, and also have a standing D&I committee to provide review and expert advice on leading practices across all of AGU programs.  Also, with emphasis, education and promotion from our Honors and Awards committee, the % of women scientists recieving AGU union level medals and awards in 2019 was 51% of all those awards given.

  • CC2: Comment on EGU2020-5943, Kelsi Singer, 05 May 2020

    Hello!  Thanks for sharing this information about the initiatives at AGU. It seems like there is a lot of great momentum, so that is nice to see.  Related to the momentum, I have a question about the final slide where you mention "Make it sustainable" (that does seem important!).  I was curious exactly what you had in mind with this statement and if there are strategies the AGU has in mind to achieve this goal.  I realize that is kind of a broad question but just interested in any further info on that topic :).  Thanks!

    (As a side note, it looks like the comments won't allow links, as they don't seem to show up in your reply.)

    • AC3: Reply to CC2, Billy Williams, 05 May 2020

      "Make it sustainable" on the last slide means assure these initiatives and priorities are well integrated into the fabric of the organization, so that they continue to live and thrive beyond a few years.  The changes needed to achieve true diversity and inclusion requires long-term committment.