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National Centre for Atmospheric Science launches Community for Change

The National Centre for Atmospheric Science has launched a new initiative that aims to nurture a more inclusive research environment, called the Community for Change.

The Community for Change, developed by fourteen colleagues across all departments, seeks to create a national, dynamic community of colleagues who take part in targeted engagement activities.

The initiative centres around five different engagement activities that allow our colleagues to build connections, learn, and work alongside groups of people who are marginalised in science.

These activities, ranging from mentoring students to hosting a facility open-day, are only possible through partnerships with four organisations with proven track-records in helping to make science more accessible for everyone. They are The Access Project, Black British in STEM, STEM Learning, and Nuffield Research Placements.

“This initiative is part of our drive to make the National Centre for Atmospheric Science a place where everyone feels included and can realise ambitions. Diversity – in all its forms – makes our organisation a better organisation”

Professor Stephen Mobbs, Executive Director of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science

The lack of diverse representation in environmental science has been a longstanding issue, and persists across many areas, including workforce make-up, attainment gaps in education, grant award and fellowship.

As well as stifling scientific progress – diversity can drive innovation and increase the talent pool – the diversity crisis also prevents us from engaging with a broad set of stakeholders across society, often people who are most affected by environmental challenges such as air pollution and climate change.

The Community for Change’s approach is to take a holistic view of the research ecosystem and to bring our colleagues together through targeted engagement activities that are seen as part of their day-to-day roles.

“These are the first steps towards building a thriving community of colleagues who are visible champions for diversity and inclusion in their workplaces and their communities. Every person who takes part, and every hour spent, helps us to stitch our values into the fabric of our organisation and the research sector.”

Nathan Betts, Community for Change Working Group

There are many ways to be involved, from speaking at a careers workshop, to spending two hours per week tutoring a student, or hosting a two-week summer placement.

Each activity has been carefully selected with guidance from the Science Capital Approach and the Equity Compass, and supports the National Centre for Atmospheric Science Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Plan.

You can dive into our Community for Change now, and view the five activities available for our colleagues.

To ask questions, talk about our approach, or find out how you can help, contact communityforchange@ncas.ac.uk