Aileen Doran*1, Anna Bidgood1, Aoife Blowick1, Jennifer Craig1, Halleluya Ekandjo1, Jana Foxe2, Jess Franklin3, David Käter1, Murray Hitzman1, Fergus McAuliffe1, Koen Torremans1, Elspeth Wallace1
1UCD School of Earth Sciences & Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG), University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
2Department of Political Science at the University of Washington, America.
3National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), University Road, Galway, Ireland.
The Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in Geoscience (EDIG) initiative was created to better understand the experiences of the geoscience community with respect to prejudice, inequity, bias, exclusion, sexism, and discrimination. EDIG aims to provide a platform for learning for the wider geoscience community and promote progressive action to make geoscience more inclusive and equitable.
As part of our initiatives, we organised the virtual EDIG conference in December 2020 entitled: A time to listen, learn, and act. This virtual event aimed to facilitate learning on equality, diversity, and inclusion related topics relevant to the geosciences. It hosted sessions on where we have come from, where we are now, and where we are going. The conference especially focused on raising awareness around the challenges experienced by minoritized geoscientists, helping to involve more people in these conversations. The conference hosted 17 speakers on a range of different topics, from the history of diversity in geoscience, to how we can become more inclusive, to how we can move forward together, as well as a workshop on unconscious bias sponsored by the Institute of Geologists of Ireland (IGI) and the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geology (iCRAG).
Prior to the EDIG conference, we launched a global survey to carry out research on equality, diversity, and inclusion in the geosciences. The survey asked people about their own experiences (or lack of) around EDI related topics. The survey received a large response, with 708 participants from 58 countries. The main themes from the survey data were used to structure our conference programme. A review of the survey results can be watched on our YouTube channel .
We will present our experiences of the EDIG conference, focusing on the raw materials sector. We will also outline our plans of establishing a global community of support and learning, to help us all come together to make the geosciences more welcoming, accessible, inclusive, and equitable.
 EDIG Conference Youtube channel. Accessible at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTSbo2wJxJxq6XQeaegqLuRg93JMbgU72
Aileen is a researcher with iCRAG, based at University College Dublin (UCD), who just submitted her PhD on the geochemistry of Irish Zn-Pb deposits. Aileen’s PhD research has focused on the application of mineral chemistry and isotopic analysis to sulfides and carbonates associated with mineralization, to investigate hydrothermal fluid flow, geochemical vectors, and the genesis of sulfide deposits. Aileen has also recently started another research position with iCRAG, looking at the geology and geochemistry of mineralization in the Zambian Copperbelt.
Over her time at UCD, Aileen has become involved with several science communication, women in STEM, and EDI initiatives. In particular, Aileen is a member of the Irish Association for Women in Geoscience (IAWG) and the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in Geoscience (EDIG) groups, and is currently chair of the EDIG committee. The EDIG project, established in 2020, is an initiative set up by iCRAG researchers working in collaboration with external geoscientists to help us better understand the impact of EDI related issues on the geoscience community and to help foster a more accessible, inclusive, an equitable environment for everyone.