The Society for Mathematical Biology (SMB) is an international Society with a diverse membership. Recent heartbreaking events in the USA in 2020 that led to the loss of Black men and women lives highlighted racial inequalities that are sadly embedded in key public and private institutions. This is in addition to the already rampant discriminatory practices against women and LGBTQ+ communities. Although we are an international Society, we recognize that a large portion of our membership has been affected by these events and other discriminatory or exclusive events, and we need to do all we can to help change this culture.
Our Society has never tolerated discrimination of any form and embraces inclusion and equity. SMB condemns any injustice or violence against all people, and we stand in solidarity with our Black, LatinX, Native, and LBGTQ+ communities in addition to other minorities groups in STEAM fields.
Lingering discriminatory ideology has become increasingly apparent and minority communities need our support. Whilst SMB embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion, it is clear that we can and must do more. The SMB Board of Directors has made the following specific changes to celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion, diversify our leadership and membership, and to ensure that our Society is doing all it can to support and promote our colleagues.
(i) Establish a diversity, equity, and inclusion committee. The DEI committee will oversee SMB new DEI-focused activities and ensure presentation and representation of our Black, LatinX, Native, female, and LBGTQ+ community members.
(ii) Work with the DEI committee, Subgroup leaders, and Annual Meeting organizers to actively recruit speakers from underrepresented groups for keynote lectures and mini-symposia contributions at our Annual Meetings.
(iii) Encourage members from underrepresented groups to volunteer for leadership positions in the SMB.
(iv) Set aside specific funds to support underrepresented groups at our Annual Meeting.
(v) Highlight the exceptional Mathematical Biology work by SMB members from underrepresented groups in our quarterly SMB Newsletter.
Stay safe and celebrate diversity in Mathematical Biology!
SMB Board of Directors