Ri statement – Gender and Identity

The Ri’s stance on Gender and Identity.

At the Ri, we believe that what constitutes our gender is something that is deeply personal and unique to an individual. Our gender is at once informed by culture, sex, personal feelings and experiences, science, and much more besides. Moreover, the degree to which each factor influences our gender varies from individual to individual.

As such, we do not believe that we have the right to dictate to anyone what constitutes gender, what an individual’s gender is, or what it should be. Nor do we believe that the loudest voices are always those which deserve to be amplified. 

As a charity founded on science we understand that the science of sex has the potential to continue developing, as do all areas of science. Science is a process of exploration and discovery, and by its very nature scientific ‘fact’ can change. As a vessel, and home, for discussion about scientific topics, we do not believe that it is the Ri’s place to be definitive about the science of sex, any more than it is to be definitive about dark matter, electric cars or any other area of developing science. Our purpose is to create opportunities for people and scientists to explore and enjoy their interest in science together; and to do that, inclusivity is vital.

So, we will not be a place that turns away from marginalised groups and accepts hostility from those who incorrectly weaponise science to incite hatred. From our perspective many marginalised groups, and in particular the Trans Community, are, sadly, facing an ever-increasing degree of hostility. That is why we believe it’s more important than ever for us to be vocal in our support. 

We believe it is our right to celebrate all individuals who engage with us. Hostility has no place in our home for science. 

So, while we respect everyone's right to form opinions in scientific debate, or in their own lives, if those opinions are built upon discrimination or hostility, we reserve the right not to validate them. And we certainly won’t tolerate abuse or harassment of our people, nor of our audiences.

Instead, we would rather be an open, welcoming and inclusive place for people to explore science; a place where everyone feels valued and safe. We urge everyone exploring our spaces – in-person and online – to treat their fellow explorers with warmth and respect. 

The Ri is a home for science and everyone is welcome.

If you would like to share your views on how we can improve our equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility at the Ri, please email edia@ri.ac.uk