Science and technology are human endeavors, subject to influence by the biases of people. In the pursuit of science, people have often replicated power structures that reinforce the disenfranchisement and exclusion communities. In the American context, this has historically centered on the exclusion of people of color from work in scientific and technical communities.

Code for Science & Society strives to be a community leader on issues around meaningfully inclusive public interest technology across domains. We do this through work with our Sponsored Projects and Collaborative Communities Programs. When working with sponsored projects, CS&S focuses on helping projects grow sustainable, inclusive culture through evolving governance, working transparently, encouraging open dialogue around building leadership skills. Our Collaborative Communities program focuses on building capacity on the open source ecosystem. The Open Source Alliance for Open Scholarship Handbook Project, includes a frequently referenced definition of Open Scholarship, where equity and inclusion are central.

Ongoing work with inclusion professionals DeEtta Jones & Associates will focus on the challenging conversations about inclusion that are happening (and often not happening) in the open source and science space. Our work with DeEtta Jones is summarized here. We co-organize csv,conf, which brings together a diverse global data science community - read reactions to our 2019 event from Julia Lowndes and Soila Kenya.

As nonprofit home of multiple sponsored projects, CS&S oversees project leaders and teams, who will also collaborate with staff at outside organizations. By centering transparency and governance with our projects and leaning in to organizational and community growth, we hope to continue to lead as a voice for meaningful inclusive practices in open source and science.

Our direct plans to incorporate diverse representation our projects:

  1. Diversity in our Collaborators: Collaborating partners will recruit diverse perspectives to participate in a user centered design process.
  2. Equity and Representation in Staffing: We are growing our networks to support our project's abilities to recruit and retain talented people from all backgrounds.
  3. Centering Inclusion in the Project Governance: CS&S has been actively engaged in supporting open source community to question, iterate, and mature governance models. For example, Dat’s new model prioritizes community engagement and creating paths to leadership for newcomers.
  4. Proactively Seeking Opportunities to Engage with the Global Community: It can be hard for small projects on limited budgets to adjust to the needs of a growing community. There are unique funding opportunities for open projects to get expert diversity support. As another example, PREreview was selected to convene a working group of international experts at 2019 TriangleSci to focus on bringing equity and diversity to peer review.