The purpose of the Palaeontological Association is to promote the study of palaeontology and its allied sciences and the Association is open to any adult with an interest in these subjects regardless of colour, ethnic or national origin, race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, religious or other beliefs, marital status or family circumstance.
The Association takes issues of equality and diversity very seriously and has begun to investigate the diversity of its current membership and the wider palaeontological community. The Association has commissioned a study by consultants Parigen Ltd that will run from November 2017 to May 2018. The study will gather baseline data on a range of protected and non-protected characteristics such as gender and socio-economic factors, respectively. The purpose of the study is to identify under-represented groups in order to consider how the Association’s activities can be tailored to be more inclusive and ultimately to increase diversity in the discipline of palaeontology. The key elements of this study are (1) an online survey of current members, (2) focus groups at the Annual Meeting, (3) interviews (some via telephone or Skype, others at the Annual Meeting), (4) case study ‘snapshots’ of diversity in selected departments where palaeontology is taught in the UK, Ireland and Europe, and (5) comparison of these data with comparable data from the broader bio- and geosciences.
The online survey of current Association members will be launched before the Annual Meeting. Participation in the survey will be voluntary and all data will be collected anonymously. In addition, members will be asked to indicate their willingness to take part in a follow-up interview (via telephone, Skype or at the Annual Meeting) and focus group discussion (at the Annual Meeting). The success of the study is dependent on the participation of members. We hope that as many members as possible will take part, thus supporting our drive to develop a diverse Association and academic environment within palaeontology.
As defined by the Equality and Human Rights Commission: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/equality-act/protected-characteristics