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Senior staff members from many of our Membership Organisations (MOs) came together at this year’s twilight event to discuss equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) across scientific communities.

The evening session took place last week on 10th May and highlighted some of the successes of ED&I initiatives and frameworks among our MOs and other partners, but also many of the challenges that still face those working in research, industry and academia.

The event was chaired by RSB Council members Dr Pat Goodwin CBiol FRSB, RSB Diversity Champion, and Professor Nigel Brown OBE CBiol FRSB.

The evening began with a keynote address by Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott FRSB, from Swansea University. Professor Lappin-Scott shared several effective examples of embedding EDI activities at the University of Swansea and also highlighted the importance of senior leadership at events and the power of role models.

The keynote was followed by a number of lighting talks delivered by members of staff from our MOs and other organisations: Microbiology Society, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Daphne Jackson Trust, Biochemical Society and the British Pharmacological Society.

Speakers covered a lot of ground, from the effectiveness of board level EDI champions and data collection to EDI in publishing, communications, marketing and outreach.

Dr Goodwin said of the event: “The challenges highlighted by the speakers formed the basis for a lively discussion around how to address ED&I across all the activities of professional societies. We look forward to continuing debate on these important issues at future Member Organisation events.”

The event was a mere taster of the issues and challenges that EDI presents and the variety of creative ways to address them, and the RSB will be looking to develop new collaborative initiatives and activities.

The Royal Society of Biology is committed to ensuring equal opportunities in the life sciences, and supports diversity and inclusion throughout school and higher education, in training and in the workplace. Find out more about our equality and diversity activities.