February Scientiae

Okay, so at least the Scientiae posts mean I have to write about SOMETHING every month! (I promise I have another weighty post in the works, but I need to think about it some more.)

This month’s Carnival topic is about what a better, more equitable society should look like, my dreams for my life and others, and whether or not those dreams are achievable. It’s a weighty topic! Also, it’s so closely related to almost everything I read on blogs these days that I don’t really know where to start. There are just so MANY things that seem to need improvement. But it’s good to get back to the big picture and think about this question.

I feel like my vision of a perfect, truly equal society is a fairyland. It’s a necessary goal, but something we may never really attain, and certaily not in my lifetime. But a better society, well, that might be doable. I hope it is. Hell, it has to be. In the context of science, I would like to see, for example, frank and open discussions among faculty of all genders and colors and backgrounds and shapes and sizes, about how to (for instance) make sure we are being sensitive to the needs of all groups, without anyone getting defensive over their own privilege. In fact, I’d like to see that everywhere. In my magical fairyworld, of course, there would be no inequity, so privilege wouldn’t exist. But in the real world, it would feel like a grand step forward if people would simply recognize their own privilege, so that we could stop arguing about it. It’s something I need to work on myself. So does everyone else.

So that’s a dream of mine for a more equitable society, particularly in science. Is it achievable? Not really – it’s kind of an impossible end goal, too. But it’s something we have to work towards nonetheless. Because even incremental improvement is real improvement, and it can really impact people’s lives in positive ways.

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