Our mission is to create a world where science is genuinely collaborative, inclusive, and socially engaged.
Scientists are curious, driven, passionate people. But for too long, isolation, competition, and arrogance have been accepted—and even encouraged—behaviors in science. This did not happen in a vacuum, and there are many structural and systemic reasons for it, but if scientists want to be truly proud of and confident in the work that we do, it’s time to take a hard look at our systems. For example:
- The funding and publication ecosystems exert immense pressures on everyone participating in them. Their incentives lead to competition at the expense of collaboration and contribute to toxic research culture.
- Academic labs are unusual workplaces. Their unique flexibility should be cherished and preserved, but it creates openings for abusive management, poor training environments, and an unsustainable work-life balance. The Wellcome Trust’s 2020 report, “What Researchers Think About the Culture They Work In,” found that nearly two-thirds of the surveyed researchers witnessed bullying or harassment.
- While vocal commitments have been made to improve faculty diversity, US institutions will have to increase their current rate of recruitment at least 3.5 times to ever reach racial parity. And inclusion and equity will not be addressed through the power of numbers alone.
- The COVID pandemic exacerbated pre-existing misunderstandings about the best ways to communicate science and engage with the wider world.
These are just a few of our current realities. They all must be changed.
We know this is an ambitious goal. Scientists are so busy doing science and navigating existing systems of science that challenging those systems can feel impossible. We’re questioning norms and practices steeped in hundreds of years of history. We believe in change that comes from within, driven by those who have power in these systems.
We are building power in community and through process. In short, we provide scientists—both early career and established PI’s—the support they need to effect change. By focusing on relationship building, communication, and teamwork to solve complex problems, we:
- cultivate a community that generates Ideas, which are solutions to challenges
- help convert these Ideas into action through Idea Engines, which generate Campaigns
- support Campaigns with staffing, funding, and connections
- analyze, iterate, and amplify Campaigns to create Change
We are a learning community, a think-tank, and an incubator. Our work is iterative, collaborative, and bold—which is to say that like any creative workspace, it tends to get a little messy when the best stuff is happening. Right now, we’re in beta mode, putting our process through its paces, and we will always respond to our community’s needs. We’re also walking the talk by challenging our own baggage and old habits as we build.
We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do, but these changes will also result in better science.