Let's talk about our home in science

It is time for a forward-looking, inclusive, positive narrative of how natural scientists should live and work together.

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If we did not feel the need for dialogue, the need for exchanging ideas, then we would be living in a global dictatorship of a selected few authoritative opinions. In June 2020, a team of talented, outspoken, diverse scientists from more than 30 institutions world-wide came together to prepare a joint, positive, forward-looking declaration of what “home” in science should look like, namely: colourful, exciting, and excellent.

Our authors spontaneously linked up on social media and by real-time communication into functional, ad-hoc teams to write, to brain-storm and to review this work. What drove this unique cooperation was the belief, that the most diverse pool of opinions and ideas will ultimately yield uniquely insightful and better results. Having witnessed this process first-hand, I am looking forward to the future of science that our authors envision.

In this blog scientists from around the world answer the same three questions from their unique perspectives:
(i) Which scientific problems will set the trends in the coming decade?
(ii) How do you experience diversity, equity and inclusion in your life, lab, and host country?
(iii) What is your message to the next generation of scientists, and what are your tips for their success?

This blog is a “living”, expanding collection of ideas on how we should live and work together as scientists. We hope you will add your voice to your “home” in science.

The initial Q&As served as the basis for the essay “A diverse view of science to catalyse change” co-published in the journals Nature Chemistry, Chemical Science, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Canadian Journal of Chemistry, and Croatica Chemica Acta.

Credit: Andy Brunning/Compound Interest

Michael J. Bojdys

Reader in Chemistry, King's College London