Petronet: a professional network for early-career petrologists and high-temperature geochemists
An antiracist, inclusive, and supportive community: The Earth sciences are the least diverse of STEM fields (Bernard and Cooperdock, 2018, Nat Geo). In addition, scientists (especially graduate students) are significantly more likely than the general population to experience depression and other mental health issues (Evans et al., 2018, Nat Biotech). These are unacceptable characteristics of our fields, both of which can be attributed, at least in part, to a lack of healthy community support network and the de facto professional and social isolation that characterizes much of our scientific profession. However, science does not have to function this way. The goal of this group is to create a community to combat these issues. We aim to increase diversity and equity in the fields of petrology and high-temperature geochemistry through the creation of an inclusive and antiracist social and professional community in which everyone feels comfortable to be themselves and supported in their personal and professional growth. All are welcome.
Filling a gap in our professional and social communities: This community is designed to be intermediate in scale, between the scale of individual research groups at universities and the scale of national professional societies like AGU and GSA. Through this design, we hope to minimize professional isolation by increasing peer networking and social interaction, particularly among graduate students, postdocs, & early-career professors, but also more senior faculty who are interested in supporting and helping the next generations of scientists or who might not otherwise interact regularly through their professional activities.
Intention in design: This group is not meant to replicate the discipline-specific email listservs (e.g. MSA-talk, Geo-Metamorphism, or Tectonics) in which anyone can post general scientific questions and self-promote. Nor is it meant to reproduce the communities and resources available through professional societies’ subdivisions (e.g. AGU-VGP; GSA-MGPV). To ensure that the group does not move in those directions, each aspect of the group—whether an organized event or a post online—will be intentionally constructed with the group’s primary goal in mind: making an inclusive and antiracist community for early-career scientists. The group and its rules can and should evolve in time to continually meet these needs.
Professional engagement: The community will primarily be run through Slack and will include channels for specific disciplines (metamorphism, volcanology, geochronology, etc), socioprofessional status (graduate students, postdocs, assistant professors, etc), personal background and identity (race, sexual orientation, religious status, geography, etc.), as well as general resources and channels targeted toward any interests of community members (DEI resource sharing, lab work, fieldwork, professional society engagement [AGU-VGP, MSA, etc.], job opportunities, etc; as long as they align with the group’s goals). Members are encouraged to make their own channels and groups within the community based on what would be most beneficial to them professionally and socially.
Inclusion and Privacy: Channels made for specific groups of people (such as the assistant professor channel, graduate student channel, or identity/background-specific channels) will be locked and admittance will be granted only by a select few administrators in the group. This is not to exclude people from engaging with the community, but rather to ensure that these are safe spaces for sharing and discussion and to maintain focus. Permissible conversation will follow the Code of Conduct. Admission to join the group will require filling out a Google Form, stating who you are, your reason for joining the group, and confirming that you have read and agreed to the group’s Code of Conduct and Mission Statement. This is not meant to be exclusionary, but rather to ensure that people understand the group’s purpose, join it with intention, and commit to its goals. No one with a reasonable interest in the group will be excluded.
Your space, your way: We hope to create a self-sustaining, vibrant community that is beneficial to all who join, both professionally and socially. People are encouraged to join and interact to whatever extent they wish. This community is intended to be organic. People are welcome to propose their own channels within the community, to initiate activities within the group, and to contribute to the community’s continued growth.