Hacking Diversity | Princeton University Press

“Hacking, as a mode of technical and cultural production, is commonly celebrated for its extraordinary freedoms of creation and circulation. Yet surprisingly few women participate in it: rates of involvement by technologically skilled women are drastically lower in hacking communities than in industry and academia. Hacking Diversity investigates the activists engaged in free and open-source software to understand why, despite their efforts, they fail to achieve the diversity that their ideals support.

Christina Dunbar-Hester shows that within this well-meaning volunteer world, beyond the sway of human resource departments and equal opportunity legislation, members of underrepresented groups face unique challenges. She brings together more than five years of firsthand research: attending software conferences and training events, working on message boards and listservs, and frequenting North American hackerspaces. She explores who participates in voluntaristic technology cultures, to what ends, and with what consequences. Digging deep into the fundamental assumptions underpinning STEM-oriented societies, Dunbar-Hester demonstrates that while the preferred solutions of tech enthusiasts—their “hacks” of projects and cultures—can ameliorate some of the “bugs” within their own communities, these methods come up short for issues of unequal social and economic power. Distributing “diversity” in technical production is not equal to generating justice….”

Are huge genetic databases leaving marginalized people out of their data? | Salon.com

“However, as promising as biobanks might seem, the data may tell only partial or even misleading stories. Criticisms of the project include that the research coming out of the UK Biobank will only benefit certain people, and even then, the usefulness of the health associations found are under question.

Compared to the 2011 UK census, Black, Indian, Pakistani and Chinese participants are all underrepresented in the Biobank by at least one third. David Curtis, at University College London, tested whether this under-representation of ethnic minority groups has any impact on schizophrenia genetics research….”

Are huge genetic databases leaving marginalized people out of their data? | Salon.com

“However, as promising as biobanks might seem, the data may tell only partial or even misleading stories. Criticisms of the project include that the research coming out of the UK Biobank will only benefit certain people, and even then, the usefulness of the health associations found are under question.

Compared to the 2011 UK census, Black, Indian, Pakistani and Chinese participants are all underrepresented in the Biobank by at least one third. David Curtis, at University College London, tested whether this under-representation of ethnic minority groups has any impact on schizophrenia genetics research….”

Co-creating Open Infrastructure to Support Diversity and Equity

“To reframe our priorities in this way requires collective will and coordination across regions and institutions to build new kinds of support for resource reallocation. It further requires institutional courage and political will to declare that open, autonomous, and equitable systems are preferred over “prestigious” Euro-centric research systems that continue to undermine other epistemic communities from around the world. It requires that disciplines and societies prioritize who they have been centering in their research, whose voices they’ve been amplifying, and whose they have been silencing. Supporting the status quo while leaving initiatives that reflect epistemic diversity and knowledge equity as second-tier priorities will result in continued entrenchment of status quo inequities and the marginalization of truly innovative, equitable systems….”

Historians Respond to Plan S: Open Access vs OA Policies Redux – The Scholarly Kitchen

“For years, humanists have been pointing to the multi-dimensional importance of openness and accessibility of scholarship, and the multi-dimensional costs of rigid open access (OA) policies. In late October, the Royal Historical Historical Society (RHS) released a “guidance paper” on “Plan S and the History Journal Landscape.” Authored by RHS president Margot Finn, a distinguished professor at University College London (UCL) and a prolific scholar, this follows the RHS’s April 2019 working paper on Plan S and researchers in history of medicine, and June 2019 paper, responding to Plan S, as well as the society’s long-standing engagement with OA policies, and guidance to researchers, particularly in regards to OA policies vis à vis the Research Excellence Framework (REF). It is relevant that the RHS has supported OA initiatives, including their monograph series, “New Historical Perspectives.”  

The new report brings together important evidence about the state of journals that UK historians are publishing in terms of Plan S compliance, and a survey of journal editors. From public data on publications and publishing (including from the 2014 REF), as well as a survey of more than 100 journal editors from 26 UK and international presses, the report concludes that “unless major shifts occur…in the next few months, it is unlikely that either UKRI or Wellcome Trust-funded History researchers will be able to identify sufficient high-quality journal outlets that  comply with full-scale implementation of Plan S.” The report offers perspectives in discreet chapters on “Plan S:  What Do We Know?” and “Plan S:  What Don’t We Know?” An overview of “Research and Journal Publication in History” is followed by an overview of “Open Access History Journals, DOAJ and Plan S” and then coverage of the RHS survey results, and potential routes to Plan S compliance….”

Reflections on Global Community Biology of the Future: It is Open, Diverse, and Thriving | PLOS Synthetic Biology Community

“Community biology—a  movement that seems to democratize life sciences through access and diversity—has grown over the last decades.  This is reflected in a thriving population of community labs, like Genspace and BioCurious in the US, and Freak Lab in Thailand and Kumasi Hive in Ghana, and Co-Lab in Denmark—to name a few—that are popping up across the world. I’m reminded that community labs may be to 2019  what computer clubhouses were to the 1980s, when computers were becoming accessible to private citizens and shifting the way we interacted and communicated with technology. Community labs, too, provide an entry point for everyday people—the community—to access, tinker, and play with biology!

 

Recognizing the potential of community labs to democratize scientific knowledge on a global scale—from what I’ve heard—folks like David Kong, Maria Chavez, JJ Hastings, Scott Pownall, and other global leaders in the field, sought in different ways to convene the community as a way to network, share, and connect.  This may have sparked the first Global Community Bio Summit in 2017 and that brought together hundreds (me included) of biology enthusiasts, educators, and researchers from a number of countries collectively striving to share in the responsibility of building an open and diverse movement for community science. I attended again a few weeks ago as the Bio Summit convened for the third time and, from my experience, the event continues to grow as it draws hundreds of participants across the globe and from every continent….”

Boosting diversity in open access – Physics World

“A key part of equality in open access is enabling as many authors as possible to publish on an open-access basis. There is also a wider ambition to be more inclusive and remove barriers to wider participation in science. At IOP Publishing, we have established a diversity and inclusion committee to make sure that anyone can become an author, reviewer or editorial board member across all our journals. We have also introduced a double-blind peer-review option on several of our journals. This is where the identities of the authors, their organization and other details that could identify the authors, such as where the study was conducted, are masked from the reviewers. This assures authors that their submission will be evaluated solely on the quality of the science.”

Open and Equitable Scholarly Communications: Creating a More Inclusive Future – ACRL Insider

“ACRL is pleased to announce the release of “Open and Equitable Scholarly Communications: Creating a More Inclusive Future,” prepared for ACRL by Nancy Maron and Rebecca Kennison with Paul Bracke, Nathan Hall, Isaac Gilman, Kara Malenfant, Charlotte Roh, and Yasmeen Shorish. Developed over the course of a year with leadership from the Research and Scholarly Environment Committee (ReSEC) and with a high degree of community involvement, this powerful new action-oriented research agenda encourages the community to make the scholarly communications system more open, inclusive, and equitable by outlining trends, encouraging practical actions, and clearly identifying the most strategic research questions to pursue….”