“Members of underrepresented groups face persistent barriers to equitable representation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, particularly at advanced stages,” the declaration states. “The cost of this loss of talent is high—for individuals, for research, and for society as a whole.”
Neuroscientist Megan Carey, chair of the ALBA Declaration Working Group, said the declaration provides specific ways institutions and individuals in brain science can effect positive change, specifically by combatting implicit bias and improving workplace culture.
"The declaration outlines concrete, evidence-based actions that individuals and organizations at any level can take in order to make their environments more equitable and inclusive,” said Carey, group leader in the neuroscience program at the Champalimaud Center for the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal. “We believe that adopting these principles will benefit all members of the research community."
Actions outlined in the declaration include steps to recognize and counteract bias; increase allyship and advocacy for brain scientists from underrepresented groups; improve recruiting, hiring and retention practices; and promote an equitable workplace culture by creating a more positive environment, establishing transparent career structures and ensuring healthy work-life balance.
“As the declaration notes, members of underrepresented groups have faced many persistent barriers,” said Li-Huei Tsai, director of The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and Picower Professor of Neuroscience at MIT. “The Picower Institute recognizes that it can help to end that persistence and break those barriers down. By joining this declaration we are affirming our dedication to embodying the values and engaging in the actions that will overcome bias and racism and promote allyship, equal opportunity and a welcoming, inclusive and diverse neuroscience research environment.”
Learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion at The Picower Institute.