As a team we celebrate and value diversity and believe that equality and equity of opportunity is vital for the scientific community. We aim to foster an environment within our group which is welcoming and inclusive. Several members of the team are actively involved in EEDI (equality, equity, diversity and inclusion) committees and initiatives within the University of Oxford and in the British Society for Plant Pathology (BSPP).
Gail is very actively involved in promoting EEDI at Oxford through her role as Director of the Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience DTP. She is a member of the Graduate Access Working Group at the University of Oxford and is the chair of the management committee for the UNIQ+ graduate access scheme at Oxford, which aims to provide mentoring and internship opportunities for students from backgrounds that are under-represented in scientific research. Floren Scrafton and Lauren Chappell have taken an active role in establishing the Early Career Researchers ED&I Action Group. We have frequently contributed to the UNIQ summer programme for prospective undergraduate students and members of the lab have provided mentoring for undergraduates who are considering graduate study at Oxford, and participated in activities to support the work of the disability advisory service at Oxford.
We try to ensure that the outreach and educational activities we are involved in, such as our current Dutch Elm Disease outreach project, are inclusive and accessible, and we are currently involved in an exciting collaborative project with researchers at the Scottish Sensory Centre, which has been funded by the BSPP, to develop plant pathology related signs for British Sign Language users. In 2020 we hosted a webinar by members of the SSC, with the support of BSPP, which explains the process of developing new signs to communicate science.
In 2020 we collaborated with Dawn Arnold (Harper Adams University) and Sci Ani to create an animation illustrating our work on the evolution of plant pathogenic bacteria to overcome plant disease resistance.
A video has also been created to illustrate the aims of our current BIOSCHAMP project.