We develop our lab philosophy as a community. As new members of the lab come and go we allow our philosophy to evolve.
We are guided by two principles: 1) that the pursuit of diversity, equity, and inclusion in science and society is fair and just; and 2) that open, reproducible research is important for the advancement of science, breaking down barriers to entry into scientific disciplines, and sharing scientific discoveries with society.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
As scientists who study genetics, let us be clear that we reject all attempts to justify racist and sexist views and actions with concepts from genetics. Such bigoted propaganda and violence have been widely debunked (we are thankful for, e.g., work by Angela Saini on this). Devaluing and dehumanizing Black, Indigenous, and People of Color fueled and legitimized centuries of genocide, colonialism, and deprived human rights to the majority of humanity. The violence continues to this day. So we affirm: Black Lives Matter. We affirm our commitment to opposing systems of prejudice that have and continue to insight violence against women, the LGBTQ+ community, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
The whiteness, maleness, cis-heteronormativity of academia derives from the same processes that devalue and dehumanize humans. So we work actively to correct the lack of inclusion and equity in academia by recruiting and hiring diverse students and colleagues. We value diversity. We work to ensure the communities we create together are safe for all of us.
Open, reproducible research
The observation that some of the most famous geneticists were also eugenicists does not validate eugenics, rather it demonstrates that scientists are fallible and do not operate in an objective vacuum, but are entirely enmeshed in biased constructs of human societies. This does not mean science cannot produce valuable insight. It means that for science to be valuable, the assumptions of scientists must be transparent and their work available to be scrutinized and reproduced. We commit to transparency and reproducibility by making our code, data, and results open access. We acknowledge that in some circumstances, particularly to support the career advancement of our students, we may need to delay open access to materials. We also acknowledge that scientists are held hostage by the for-profit publishing industry and that career advancement can necessitate working with these publishing institutions that hide science behind paywalls. To circumvent this, we will publish as much as possible in open access journal, and always post manuscripts to pre-print servers.
To help build our community we will mentor each other. We will seek to break down hierarchies wherever we can and engage as a community of peers. However, we will not negate the job of more senior members of our community to fulfill their mentoring and leadership responsibilities. As mentors we will:
- help each other and ourselves set realistic and achievable goals
- promote a healthy balance of work and life
- decide on fair authorship standards at the beginning of every project and update them as the project evolves
- recognize we are all different, value difference as an asset, and make our mentoring plans responsive to each student
- promote the career advancement of junior members of our community
- be responsive to the different, and potentially changing, career trajectories of each member of our community