The Roach Brain Lab
for studying biodiversity through molecular systematics
In our pursuit of knowledge, we encourage an environment of collaboration, open communication, and trust, which welcomes diversity and respects differences of opinion. It is these principles that allow us to discover new ways of thinking and behaving, which lead to innovation and scientific success. Division and exclusion based on race, age, color, disability, faith, religion, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, social class, economic class, ethnicity, gender identity, and gender expression have no place in the pursuit of science. Not only is it imperative to include equity and inclusivity in the lab on a moral level, but there is also evidence for synergy in having a diverse research team with different opinions and ideas when doing science. As a lab, our objective is to be inclusive in all our practices, especially in recruiting, training, mentoring, and evaluations. Everyone deserves to be treated equally and fairly.
All lab members are expected to strive to create an inclusive and welcoming environment built on fairness and respect. All members are also encouraged to bring up situations when the practices in the lab do not align with this expectation. Less obvious are instances of implicit bias. Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. We all have implicit biases. Each person may subconsciously have preconceived notions that affect their view on? others, based on one or more of their identity attributes. The first step in promoting inclusion is recognizing this. Once we do, we can take active steps to correct and avoid the negative impact these biases might pose to ourselves and others. We encourage everyone to reflect on their own biases (e.g. through existing implicit bias tests) to raise self-awareness and move towards a more inclusive perspective. As another helpful practice, we recommend that all members reflect on their own privileges as a way of identifying and acknowledging societal and institutionalized discrimination. The relationship among lab members is expected to be guided by respect for self and others. This may take many forms, but to highlight a few: use pronouns appropriate to the request of each individual, treat others how they want to be treated, and remember that not everyone interprets things the same way you do and you need to be mindful of these differences.