Science transforms lives and underpins the modern world – from health to the latest technology, the environment, and the furthest reaches of our universe. Science is part of culture, but not everyone has the same opportunity to engage. The Ri believes there should be equitable access to science, and that people’s desire to engage with science and scientists should be nourished.
Our vision is that science is for everyone.
As such, our commitment is to be an organisation that treats all people, regardless of their background, with dignity and respect; an organisation that challenges discrimination and prejudice. Strategically, equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility sit at the heart of the Ri. Each is vital to our success; and more than that, we believe that each makes science better.
We consider equity to mean fairness and to achieve equality in outcomes, not just in support and opportunities. We recognise that not all people start from the same place and make appropriate adjustments to these imbalances. Diversity means celebrating difference. Each person is an individual with visible and non-visible differences, and we respect these.
Through inclusion we seek to value everyone. By respecting differences, everyone can feel valued for their contribution. And by accessibility we mean it for every individual, and where possible removing barriers which prevent access and engagement for anyone.
In order to fulfil our belief that there should be equitable access to science, and deliver our charitable objectives, we will actively promote our activities to a wide range of diverse communities and welcome them to the Ri’s many engagement platforms. We will build an internal culture that values difference and recognises that a diversity of viewpoints helps improve everyone’s access to science. We will tell the stories of less well-known people from the Ri’s heritage, and celebrate the achievements of scientists today whose contribution is under-represented. We will evaluate our performance to continually improve.
We will make our home in London and our online spaces welcoming, respectful and safe for all. We will not tolerate abuse or harassment of our people, nor of our audiences. We support and welcome freedom of speech – science is, after all, a world of exploration and debate – but we expect those sharing our online and in-person spaces to be respectful to all. Free speech doesn’t give anyone the right to be racist or sexist or transphobic, nor to mis-use the power of science to incite hatred. We are not open to those who seek to use science as an excuse for prejudice, discrimination and hate.
Like many organisations, we recognise we are on a journey to continually improve our EDIA outcomes and have made a strategic commitment to do so. We will seek out feedback, we will listen to others, and we won’t be too proud to learn.
Equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility are not inter-changeable but inter-dependent. There can be no equitable access – through us, to science – if difference is not valued and harnessed.
The Ri is a home for science and everyone is welcome.