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For Better Representation

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is taking steps to make both itself and science more diverse, the Verge reports.

It adds that, by September, the society is going to begin to release diversity data on its staff, fellows, and study authors, a move it sees as a "jumping-off point" to spur better representation. The Verge adds that this decision by AAAS to tackle diversity in the sciences comes after Black scientists protested racism in academia and scientific fields.

"As we held up a mirror to ourselves, we realized that we're not as diverse as we should be," AAAS CEO Sudip Parikh tells the Verge in a Q&A. "Taking demographic data and making it public going forward enables the community to hold us accountable."

Parikh notes that an initial look at the society's demographic data indicates that its board and leadership is diverse, but that its editorial teams and academic editors are less diverse. As professional editors are the first to assess whether a study belongs in a Science journal, Parikh says they should reflect a range of backgrounds. "That group should be diverse, it should be representative," he adds. "When you have a representative group, you might have a bigger field of vision about what's important.