Diversity in Science: Why, What & How


In 2021, Cognito launched an event series that featured expert talks and workshops on diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education.

The Cognito board took a definite shift in focusing on diversity and inclusivity. Bolstered by funding from the FNWI’s Grassroots Science4All initiative, the Board designed an event series in which scientists from underrepresented communities gave talks, which were followed by workshops inviting participants to reflect on and discuss what they learned and heard. The focus of each workshop included discussions about historical and current struggles in diversity in science, and potential solutions.

Marginalized communities, such as LGBTQ+ individuals and cultural, ethnic and religious minorities, face a multitude of barriers in science and higher education.
As people who study in these fields, we all have an opportunity to uplift ostracized voices and make our communities more inclusive and equitable environments. The aim of this workshop series was to give you the tools to understand why and how to better show up for marginalized communities, from the classroom to your own research.

That being said, many of these issues go beyond the individual, to structural issues in our institutions. That means that these six events would not have fundamentally changed our departments, faculties or university. We hope this could be a jumping off point for participants, who will have the tools and knowledge for education, discussion and action.

In the sections below, you can find more detailed summaries of the past events.