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Warwick Chemistry Diversity Book Club

Chemistry Diversity Book Club


Want to improve representation in Chemistry? Want to be an ally? Don’t know where to start?
To take action and improve diversity in the chemical sciences it is first essential for chemists to educate themselves and be aware of the diversity issues that prevail within our community.

The Warwick Chemistry Diversity Book Club, a joint collaboration between ChemSoc and PSoC as well as the STEM and Diversity Team, sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry, is designed to raise awareness, providing an opportunity for members of our chemistry department to connect, communicate and reflect on current diversity issues prevalent within the chemical sciences today.

The Diversity Book Club is for all members of the Warwick Chemistry Community; undergraduates, postgraduates, postdoctoral researchers, academic staff, technical staff and admininstrative staff (and anyone in between) to encourage the sharing of ideas and highlight that improving diversity is essential throughout the whole department.

The Book Club will run from January 2021 through to December 2021 and will involve monthly meetings with a group discussion element. It will focus on four specific themes which are outlined below.

Click here to sign up to the Diversity Book Club

Theme Corresponding Book Corresponding RSC Report

Superior - Angela Saini

Diversity Landscape of the Chemical Sciences
Gender Invisible Women - Caroline Criado Perez Breaking the Barriers
Sexual Orientation Straight Jacket: How to be gay and happy - Matthew Todd Exploring the Workplace for LGBT+ Physical Scientists
Unconscious Bias Sway - Dr Pragya Agarwal Is publishing in the chemical sciences gender biased


How much of a time commitment is the Warwick Chemistry Diversity Book Club?

The Book Club will cover one book over 3 months, running a 1-hour meeting per month that explores around a third of the book with specific questions as part of an interactive group discussion. For starting a new book you will be invited to an optional talk on the new book theme (half an hour), and for the conclusion of any given book you will be invited to participate in a brain-storming session (1 hour) to discuss how we might improve departmental diversity and inclusion.

When will the monthly Book Club meetings be run?

The discussion sessions will be run by facilitators and have been specifically designed to run on different days/times to be as inclusive as possible. There are a range of options available that you can specify at sign up.

What if I haven’t read the book?

Ideally before coming to a session we would like you to have read the specified chapters of the book being covered. If you haven’t, we still want you to come along to the discussion session and be honest. We hope to create a non-judgemental learning environment for people to discuss these important issues.

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What are we hoping to achieve?

In order to measure the impact of the Diversity Book Club, at the final Book Club session for each book, a brainstorming session will be conducted on how we can apply learnings from both the book and the RSC report towards improving diversity and inclusion in our own department. Information will be reported to the department Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team to help improve and shape change for the future. You will also be asked to complete a self reflection form on what you have learned from each book.

The Book Club is expected to help address diversity and inclusion in the chemical sciences community by encouraging you to openly discuss diversity challenges that exist with each other. It is hoped that this will encourage collaborative work towards change through interactive brainstorming sessions. The Book Club will be designed to help challenge and change perceptions individual thinking towards being more inclusive.

Resources and Signposting

  • Wellbeing Support Services - Click hereLink opens in a new window to access Warwick Wellbeing Support Services, including self help resources, the student portal and ways to get in touch with the Wellbeing team.
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion - Click here Link opens in a new windowto read more about the University's policy on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Including information on how to learn more, find support and ways to get involved.
  • Dignity at Warwick - Click hereLink opens in a new window to read the Dignity at Warwick policy, which includes sources of information for both staff and and students, plus further signposting to additional resources and contacts.
  • Athena Swan - Click here Link opens in a new window for details of Athena Swan in the Department of Chemistry.
  • Black Lives Matter - Click here Link opens in a new window for details on the Department of Chemistry's response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • Wellbeing and Diversity @ Warwick Chemistry - Click here Link opens in a new window to view the Department of Chemistry's comprehensive Wellbeing and Diversity webpages and resources.
  • Postdoctoral Society of Chemistry (PSoC) - Click here Link opens in a new window to read about Warwick PSoC, including their mission statement, their resources and ways to get involved in the community.

Who to contact

If you have any questions, concerns, feedback or ideas about the chemistry Diversity Book Club, please contact diversitybookclub at warwick dot ac dot uk.