In June 2020, IASC published a Statement On Tackling Racism & Systemic Bias. IASC stands against racism and all its systemic effects. Black Lives Matter. Indigenous Lives Matter. IASC wants to work with the Arctic science community to eradicate racism and systemic biases in our community and to build a more diverse and inclusive Arctic research community.

At that time, IASC invited the international Arctic science community to join IASC in “doing the work” to combat racism and make the Arctic science community more diverse and inclusive. We had set up an online form for the community to share their pledges of action, resources on allyship, bias, and anti-racism in (Arctic) science, and suggestions for action from IASC and the Arctic science community. We very much thank those who shared their input in this discussion with us and want to share some of their responses with our community:

One respondent reminded about the importance to “cooperate and collaborate with the indigenous people to secure their lifestyle what means culture and their concerns. These minorities are not in the mainstream social media or news – so they are invisible.”

We also received several pledges of action such as:

  • “include more diverse students and interns in research”
  • “I pledge to combat all forms of prejudice within the Arctic science community. While I myself am part of an underrepresented group, I hope that I am able to break down barriers and empower those that are marginalized within our society to make Arctic science welcoming to all.”

Furthermore, we received a suggestion for IASC to “invite individuals and groups who are invested in this work, and may have initiatives already underway, to discuss what further action should look like and direct the IASC´s next steps” and to develop a tool-kit “that can be used to stimulate conversation and action in individual research groups or departments globally”.

IASC will follow up on this suggestion by organizing a session at the upcoming ASSW2021 to bring together experts from several ongoing initiatives and to discuss suggestions for further steps in the future. More detailed information will be made available on the ASSW2021 website.

IASC sees the submitted feedback only the start of an important discussion. We will continue to leave the Google Form open to collect more pledges of actions, resources on allyship, bias, and anti-racism in (Arctic) science and suggestions for actions that can help direct IASC´s work. We will continue to share the feedback with you on regular basis and add to the compilation of references and resources on the IASC website. You are also welcome and encouraged to email IASC at any time.

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