The eScience Institute is dedicated to fostering and supporting an interdisciplinary community for data-intensive research across and beyond the University of Washington. As an organization, we seek to expand the adoption and advancement of the tools and techniques of data science. We recognize that such opportunities and outcomes are not equally distributed due to longstanding structural disparities in our society. We seek to mitigate these issues by striving to reduce disparities in the practice of data science.
eScience strives to be a catalyst for change in the data science community. We commit to:
- Critically considering the impacts of data science on humans who are practitioners of data-intensive methods, producers of data, subjects of analysis, and stakeholders in these activities;
- Welcoming each human as a whole and recognizing each person as someone with multiple and overlapping identities, responsibilities, and goals;
- Broadening access to data science infrastructure and training opportunities through recruitment and partnerships with underrepresented groups;
- Cultivating partnerships with collaborators and stakeholders to work together in the goal of advancing equity;
- Respecting the circumstances, customs, and cultures of marginalized communities and honoring their voices in the stewardship and narrative of their data;
- Integrating considerations of equity and accessibility into the design and implementation of our core programs;
- Continually fostering an internal culture that prioritizes transparency, shared decision making and equitable rewards.
We feel these goals are necessary to ameliorate injustice and to improve data science practice through the inclusion of diverse perspectives. This work will require continuous effort and evaluation, and we consider it a core part of our mission in perpetuity.
What we mean when we use the following terms in the context of our equity work:
- Equity. Equity is the curation and support of an environment of unbiased, impartial, and fair operations such that the impact of an organization is equally distributed among people, regardless of their differences—including but not limited to differences in race, ethnicity, cultural background, religion, ableness, socioeconomic class, age, and education.
- Inclusion. Inclusion is the authentic provision of equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized. Inclusiveness demands that all individuals be supported, valued, and treated without bias, fairly and respectfully, such that everyone can fully participate.
- Diversity. Diversity is the variation among people, including physical, social, psychological, and cultural differences. At the eScience Institute, we believe that diversity is a source of strength, and that our commitment to diversity requires that all people be respected and valued regardless of their individual differences.
- Accessibility. Accessibility is the practice of ensuring that information, activities, and physical spaces are fully usable for all individuals.