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Equity is a distribution of opportunities such that everyone is being provided with what they need to ensure they do their best.
This is different to equality, where opportunities would be distributed equally, regardless of someone's circumstances.
[Source - "What is Social Justice?" Psychology Today]

a banner with a picture of a mug to the left with equitea printed on it and text to the right which reads a monthly forum to discuss topics related to equity diversity and inclusion ED&I in relation to Astronomy Physics and STEM

The Concept

Science is not performed in isolation - it is influenced by the people who perform it, and the world in which it is performed. Certain groups of people face bigger barriers to success when on their journey in science.

Our monthly Equitea meeting is a forum to discuss topics related to equity, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I) in relation to Astronomy, Physics and/or STEM as a whole.

This meeting is open to everyone; you are encouraged to participate and attend regardless of your background. Even if you do not belong to a minority group, allies are very important! The aim of this meeting is to educate ourselves, listen to minority voices, and learn about perspectives and topics that we might not have considered before.

This is also a place for us to collect resources that further understanding in the above topics. You can find our amalgamation of resources >> here! <<

You can read up on the origin story of our Equitea meetings >> here! <<


Our meetings typically occur on the last Wednesday of every month from 12 to 1pm. This may be subject to change (especially when external speakers are being hosted), so please double-check the schedule below for up-to-date meeting dates/times!

You can read up on past meetings, including notes and resources discussed, >> here! <<

Date, Time Meeting Topic(s) Speaker(s) Chair(s) Recommended Reading
Wed 27th Jan, 12-1pm

1. Ratifying our Code of Conduct
2. Introducing an anonymous Q&A system
3. Discussing our own stories of being on the receiving end of implicit bias or discrimination

1, 2. The Chairs
3. Eva-Maria Ahrer, Ares Osborn, and anyone else willing to contribute!

A. Osborn & F. Hawthorn

1. The Code of Conduct
2. None
3. None

Wed 24th Feb, 12-1pm Moving for your Career in Astronomy Catriona McDonald
A. Osborn
& H. Cegla
& E. Ahrer (minuting)
"ASTROMOVES: Astrophysics, Diversity, Mobility"
Jarita Holbrook
Wed 31st Mar, 12-1pm The Challenges of Maternity and Academia

Farzana Meru

A. Osborn & F. Hawthorn
& E. Ahrer (minuting)
Wed 28th Apr, 12-1pm Portrayal of Women in Science Fiction
Note: this is intended as a pre-cursor to a later seminar this summer

Elizabeth Stanway

H. Cegla
& E. Ahrer (minuting)
The Routledge Film Guidebook to Science Fiction
Mark Bould (2012)
Chapter 1, "women in the lab: body parts" and "women in the lab: scientists"
Wed 26th May, 12-1pm Unseen Neurodiversity in Academia

Emma Longstaff

D. Brown
& E. Ahrer
& A.Osborn (minuting)

2 Autism spectrum quizzes: Autism Spectrum Quotient and Aspie Quiz (optional)
Wed 30th June, 4-5pm

The impact of COVID-19 on faculty productivity and wellbeing: results from a faculty survey at the University of British Columbia

Naznin Virji-Babul (external)

F. Meru
& E. Ahrer
& D. Brown (minuting)

⭐ Thu 22nd June, 9.20am

NAM 2021 Session Diversifying the future: opening astronomy and geophysics to all

Talk - Creating Equitea: a monthly forum to discuss topics related to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) in Astronomy, Physics, and STEM

Ares Osborn,
on behalf of the Equitea Committee
(contributing speaker)


Wed 28th Jul, 12-1pm Resource Sharing Session The whole Equitea group

A. Osborn
& C. McDonald

Pre-preparation of a resource related to ED&I to share with the wider group
Wed 25th Aug, 12-1pm Astronomy for Development: the Namibian Example

Hannah Dalgleish (external)

E. Ahrer & H. Cegla & C. McDonald (minuting)

Wed 29th Sep, 12-1pm Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Academic Conferences: A Discussion

Emily F. Henderson & James Burford (external)

A. Osborn

Best practice guide: developing inclusive conferences’ by Alice Chautard and Claire Hann
Wed 27th Oct, 12-1pm

Transphobia, TERFs and their emergence in academia

Ares Osborn (internal)

E. Ahrer

Wed 24th Nov, 12 - 1pm What is Islamophobia?

Amena Faruqi (internal)

E. Ahrer & C. McDonald

Wed 26th Jan, 12 - 1pm TBC



Current Committee (2021)

Our committee is responsible for organising and chairing these meetings. They come from both the student (postgraduate) and staff (postdocs included) bodies, and their work on this is entirely voluntary. The committee changes every new year.

You can check out the members of the past committees >> here! <<

Role Name (pronouns) Email Other links  
Student lead Ares Osborn
e.osborn [at] 🌎 webpage
🐦 astro twitter
🐦 art twitter
photograph of Ares Osborn
Staff lead Heather Cegla
(she/her | they/them)
h.cegla [at] 🌎 webpage photograph of Heather Cegla
Committee Member
David Brown
d.j.a.brown [at] 🌎 webpage photo of David Brown
Committee Member
Eva-Maria Ahrer
eva-maria.ahrer [at] 🌎 webpage image of Eva-Maria Ahrer
Committee Member (Student)

Catriona McDonald
catriona.mcdonald [at[ 🌎 webpage photo of Catriona McDonald
Committee Member
Faith Hawthorn
faith.hawthorn [at] 🌎 webpage photo of Faith Hawthorn

Committee Member

Gareth Jones
g.jones.6 [at]    
Committee Member
Lauren Doyle
lauren.doyle [at] 🌎 webpage photo of Lauren Doyle
Committee Advisor

Farzana Meru

f.meru [at] 🌎 webpage photo of Farzana Meru
Code of Conduct

By attending our Equitea meetings, you agree to abide by the following guidelines.

We are dedicated to providing a positive, harassment-free experience for everyone in our meetings, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices.

We do not tolerate harassment, abusive behavior, or intimidation of participants in any form.

We follow the Values of the University of Warwick and the AAS Code of Ethics, and outline some additional, specific guidance for this particular meeting below:

  1. This is a space for everyone to learn and grow.
    Remember, no-one is perfect, If you make a mistake, remember to apologise and learn from it. If someone says something that is incorrect, please make sure to correct them kindly, rather than berating them.
  2. The voices and needs of the most vulnerable in any given conversation should be prioritised.
    As such, please be conscious of how much space you’re taking up in a conversation. Please be extra conscious if you hold a privileged or dominant identity when discussing a form of inequality or oppression. Listen to and amplify the voices of those who have the lived experience; do not talk over them.
  3. Disagree with ideas, not people.
    Use "I" statements to speak from your personal perspective, rather than making generalizations.
  4. Avoid playing devil’s advocate.
    Specifically, do not argue for contrarian positions that you do not actually hold.

If an individual continually breaches this code of conduct, they will be barred from attending these meetings.

If you have any complaints, please contact a member of the current committee (listed bottom left).

This Code of Conduct was inspired by the Code of Conduct for the University of Michigan Astronomy Department's Equi-tea meetings.