DPS PCCS Reading List

Statement of Purpose:

The DPS is committed to improving our culture through understanding barriers faced by underrepresented members of our community (see leadership/climate).This list consists of some prompts for thought about how we interact with each other within our community via individual actions and group/system organization. In particular, this list focuses on identifying issues and obstacles that are created due to assumptions about who naturally seems to belong. This is usually unintentional, but still has real effects. Additionally, this list focuses on identifying potential mechanisms for combating these assumptions and the systems that enforce societal-level biases and “traditional” power dynamics. The listed articles and such were selected to present different perspectives that could prompt self- and group-reflection. DPS and the PCCS strongly encourage such reflection, especially those discussions that lead to healthy and helpful changes in how an individual or group conducts themselves or participates within a given group/system. 

Many of the articles linked are focused specifically on interactions within the academic (and often science) communities. Some are broader in focus but are just as applicable, as our community exists within the larger world, and many issues that affect scientists spill over from societal issues. We note that some articles may be out of date; the list is updated on an ongoing best-effort basis. Please send suggestions to be included to [email protected]

Beyond selection for inclusion within this list, DPS and PCCS does not endorse any specific author, issue identification, or potential mitigation technique. After all, the issues under discussion have a long history and myriad reasons for persisting — and it will take many and different types of efforts to effect a cultural change. It is also important to remember that personal change towards improved and more inclusive interactions is a journey, not a destination. Being informed is the first and very important step — as scientists, we all understand the importance of challenging our assumptions and doing the research.

Wherever possible, we have noted where links may lead to articles that require subscriptions (or provide a limited number of free articles/month).



The Case for Diversity

NCAR/UCAR case for diversity – includes links and background on why diversity matters



Some general diversity in astronomy links



Pronouns on conference badges: why are they important?




Dialogue and Society

How to get beyond our tribal politics, by Jonathan Haidt



Being Liberal (or Conservative) Is Not an Accomplishment: On the Comfort of Political Polarization, by David Barr



Teaching Humility in an Age of Arrogance, by Michael Patrick Lynch

“[I]f we want to live in a tolerant society where we are not only open-minded but willing to learn from others, we need to balance humility and conviction.”



TED Talk:  I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here’s why I left, by Megan Phelps-Roper

“I can’t help but see in our public discourse so many of the same destructive impulses that ruled my former church.”



The Seven Habits of Highly Depolarizing People, by David Blankenhorn



Race in the United States

Podcast: Bryan Stevenson on the Ezra Klein Show, on the general topic of racial injustice in the U.S. and the importance of changing our narrative. 



I, Racist by John Metta



White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack and Some Notes for Facilitators 



I’m the descendant of a founding father and I have two black daughters — and I am racist, by Phil Lee (Washington Post, limited free articles/month)



Lack of Racial Diversity in geoscience: (includes non-paywalled link to Nature Geoscience article about this data from 2018)



Fourteen Examples of Systemic Racism in the US Criminal Justice System, by Bill Quigley



Donald Trump: The first white president, by Ta-Nehisi Coates



That was no typo: The median net worth of black Bostonians really is $8, by Akilah Johnson, Boston Globe


A Conversation With Native Americans on Race, by By Michéle Stephenson and Brian Young, New York Times Op-Docs



An interesting perspective on racial/ethnic diversity in the geosciences related to different experiences with the outdoors in childhood.



Bad things happen in the woods 



Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination

“Why did she wait until now to come forward?” people say.  This author spoke up against her harasser, and the price she paid is an answer to that question. (Paywall.)



The Unforgiving Minute, by Laurie Penny



‘Quiet Desperation’ of Academic Women, by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed



Comic: Has gender equity gone too far?, by gfyffe



Gender, Conversation Dominance, and Listener Bias:



Gender inequity in speaking opportunities at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting: (open access article)  



Transgender students in higher education:



Transgender Guide to Transitioning and Gender Affirmation in the workplace, example from Cornell University:


Trauma-Informed Approach: Understanding Trauma and its Implications



The Importance of Considering Power Dynamics (alternatively: examples of things that we all generally agree shouldn’t happen but do, sometimes way too often)

Professional Disagreement Over Galaxies Escalates Into Bullying And Harassment, Ethan Siegel, Contributor for Forbes



He Fell In Love With His Grad Student — Then Fired Her For It



Famous Berkeley Astronomer Violated Sexual Harassment Policies Over Many Years



“Congrats, you have an all male panel!” – Tumblr with many examples of all-male panels (i.e., don’t have your event be on this list!)



Bringing Recognition to Underrepresented Science Contributors

100 Women: The scientists championing their indigenous ancestors’ discoveries, by Mary Halton, BBC



Why we’re adding Black Mathematician Month to our calendars, by Sean Jamshidi, Nikoleta Kalaydzhieva and Rafael Prieto Curiel, contributors to maths magazine Chalkdust and PhD candidates at University College London



Nicole E. Cabrera Salazar discusses diversity in STEM fields, by Swapna Krishna



Considerations for Effective Allies

I am drowning in whiteness, by Ijeoma Oluo



Without inclusion, diversity initiatives may not be enough, Chandler Puritty et al., Science, 15 Sep 2017: Vol. 357, Issue 6356, pp. 1101-1102 DOI: 10.1126/science.aai9054. (Article requires subscription)



Understanding and Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Physics, by Geraldine L. Cochran, PhD, Dean of the Douglass Project for Rutgers Women in Math, Science, & Engineering, Rutgers 



How Women Mentors Make a Difference in Engineering, by Ed Yong, The Atlantic, May 22, 2017



Building an inclusive AAS:



Using implicit bias training to improve conditions for women in STEM



Issues within Planetary Science

Double jeopardy in astronomy and planetary science: Women of color face greater risks of gendered and racial harassment, by Clancy, Lee, Rodgers, and Richey (Free access)



Participation of women in spacecraft science teams, by Julie Rathbun



Planetary Science Workforce Survey



The “d” word by Janet Vertesi, presented to SBAG and OPAG



For further reading: Decolonising Science Reading List



Comic: You should’ve asked, by Emma



Issues Facing Disabled Scientists

It’s time to stop excluding people with disabilities from science.



Attending EGU in a wheelchair  



Our disabilities have made us better scientists



Creating spaces for geoscientists with disabilities to thrive



Last reviewed by the PCCS committee, March 2020