Our goals are:
1. To promote diversity and inclusion in the sciences. We want people of all backgrounds to be exposed to and to gain understanding of science. Everyone should be able to participate in the field of science, and/or value and support scientific research. This means reaching out to people of all ages, genders, races, and nationalities.
Not only should more effort be given to the recruitment and support of a diverse scientific community, but their contributions should be celebrated, their working conditions should be welcoming and fair, and their pay should be equitable.
2. To promote conservation and science from a global perspective. Collaborations as well as the sharing of data and ideas across national borders have long strengthened our collective scientific understanding. They have served as a model for transcending parochialism and bigotry. Through valuing and investing in the systematic pursuit of knowledge, many human biases and prejudices are shattered. However, this occurs only when there is a vibrant scientific culture supported by the general public, which is not thwarted by anachronistic isolationist policies and a regression toward monoculturalism.
Many of the environmental problems facing the planet, as well as their solutions, are also global in nature, and should not be viewed only from our own local vantage point. Furthermore, the people and species affected by environmental degradation may frequently exist far from our homes, but are likely connected by global ecology and the global economy. Not only must we consider such issues occurring far away, but we must also include far-away populations in finding just and equitable solutions to sustainable living. A global environmental perspective necessarily entails a kind of global engagement that listens to all voices.
3. To promote solidarity in the pursuit of social and environmental justice. It is clear that the burdens of climate change and global commodity production are not felt equally among all social classes, nationalities, and ethnicities. Yet we all contribute each day to systems that exploit, pollute, and denude our planet. Since science does not take place in a vacuum apart from either nature or society, we can no longer afford to treat it as something irrelevant to the politics that directly impact that which we study, depend upon, and cherish.
Science may not be inherently political, but at this moment in history it has very clearly been politicized. Rather than inform policy decisions, though, the merit of science is instead being judged by them. This needs to change, and luckily, there is no reason scientists themselves need to be (or in fact, can be) apolitical. We all live in this world together and standing up for what is right means standing by the facts, as well as the people who are hurt by them. Injustice to communities are as abhorrent as the habitat destruction that threatens biodiversity, and both of these frequently occur in tandem.
HOW THE ONE WORLD SCIENCE INITIATIVE WILL BEGIN TO ACHIEVE ITS GOALS:
Our strategies will evolve as we gain insight, momentum, and capacity. Our plans include:
1. Blog. The online publication of articles related to science and conservation, with a special focus on diversity, inclusion, and global impact. If you are interested in writing for us, please click here.
2. Outreach Events. We will be hosting talks, lectures, and other events to explore the intersection of science and community.
3. Partnerships and Collaborations. When possible we partner with other organizations, institutions, and businesses.
4. Scholarship Programs. We will strive to maintain a diverse student body for FPI’s field science courses, partially by increasing the capacity of our scholarship programs through fundraising, grant-writing, and other partnerships.
5. Foldscope Program. We will provide schools with a tool that enables students to explore the world around them in a way they haven’t before.
6. Podcast. By the end of this year, we aim to have a podcast up and running that explores the global scientific community, as well as global ecology.
7. Cultural Education. This initiative of FPI will bring more local cultural perspectives and contact into our field courses.