In the Noble lab, we are committed to cultivating a welcoming environment that fosters the growth and development of all trainees. We recognize that historical injustices have made computational science a hostile field for marginalized groups. We aim to support and uplift members of these groups, both because we believe that including many diverse voices is critical to the advancement of science and because we believe that it’s the right thing to do. The following are areas we are working on to make sure our lab is an inclusive and welcoming place to learn.
We aim to recruit, support, and retain trainees from backgrounds and groups that are marginalized in science or society. We acknowledge that postgraduate education is skewed toward the privileged, and hence we commit to supporting trainees from underprivileged or marginalized backgrounds. In practice, this means educating ourselves about the history of science and the roles of marginalized groups therein, and cultivating a sensitivity to the impact of our actions and words on others, and the occasional disconnect between intent and impact. Furthermore, we aim to provide one-on-one mentorship to all trainees in our lab so that all trainees receive personalized support. We hope these steps will help provide opportunities for all students.
We each commit to correcting others who may overstep the bounds of civility, and welcome receiving such corrections from others. We understand that fostering discussions that are inclusive of all participants is challenging, but also important. Although we may make mistakes, we commit to learning and changing, while also understanding that colleagues may occasionally misstep during their learning process. We believe that educating each other is not the sole responsibility of the target of discrimination, but the responsibility of our lab as whole.
We stand against algorithmic discrimination. Genomics has a history of use in discrimination, for example, as a justification for eugenics. Today, when personal genomic data is widespread, we stand against unethical uses of algorithms. In our lab’s work, we will consider the ethical implications and possible nefarious use cases of our research before beginning projects. Furthermore, we will keep in mind that the collection of data can bias downstream data analyses.
We support open science. We believe that scientific research should be available to everyone. When possible, we strive to make our publications open access, and we are happy to provide copies of any publications upon request.
This is a living document, and we welcome suggestions for areas in which the lab can improve and items that should be included in our diversity statement.