UCL Earth Sciences


Ethnic Diversity Network

14 June 2022

One of our key priorities is to ensure that students and staff of all races and ethnicities feel welcome and supported in our department.


Members of the department were invited to present at UCL's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in MAPS: Moving Forward event in spring, following our two successful bids to the MAPS Take Bold Action for Inclusion fund. We were delighted to have the chance to present our projects to a wide audience by Cassius Morrison, Rosemary Willatt and Andrew Thomson. Head of Department Paul Upchurch, Upcoming EDI Lead Maxim Ballmer and Cassius also took part in panel discussions at the event, and other departmental staff members attended and contributed.
Our first funded project provides equipment used for fieldwork, which forms a compulsory part of our curriculum, to students who may experience difficulty in paying for them. This is one part of our current work towards making fieldwork more inclusive for all students. Our second project is on decolonisation of the curriculum, recognising that the scientific methods and knowledge within Earth Sciences have been developed in a world influenced by colonialism, and over the summer two students are being funded to investigate how this is reflected in our curriculum.
There are a number of ways our staff and students can get involved and add to our EDI efforts. We have established networks, Women in Earth Sciences (WiES), Ethnic Diversity Network and LGBTQIA+ that anyone supportive of these initiatives can join; our EDI webpage also provides further information. We can all educate ourselves on the EDI issues relating to Earth Sciences.

Some useful references which discuss the status quo and ways to move forward

  1. The intersectional privilege of white able-bodied heterosexual men in STEM. Science Advances
  2. Race and racism in the geosciences. Nature Geoscience
  3. A UK perspective on tackling the geoscience racial diversity crisis in the Global North. Nature Geoscience