A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Reading List, with Special Emphasis on Natural Sciences and Natural History Museums


As the hub for digitization of U.S. natural history collections, iDigBio aims to engage our community in promoting a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and actively anti-racist community. To that end, the iDigBio team focused on issues of Education, Outreach, Diversity, and Inclusion has compiled this reading list to begin conversations in the classroom, in museum collections, and among colleagues. 

The iDigBio EODI Team: Alnycea Blackwell, Adania Flemming, Molly Phillips, and David Blackburn. We welcome suggestions for additions. Please contact Molly Phillips, EODI Coordinator for iDigBio.

Antiracism in Science
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in Natural Sciences
Gender and LGBTQ+ in Natural Sciences
Decolonial Approaches to Natural History Museums
Digitization and Accessibility
Human Remains and Cultural History
Science Education and Academia
Other relevant works
Other relevant resources

Antiracism in Science

Charmantier, I. Linnaeus and Race. The Linnean Society https://www.linnean.org/learning/who-was-linnaeus/linnaeus-and-race 

Chaudhary, V.B., and A.A. Berhe. 2020. Ten simple rules for building an antiracist lab. PLoS Computational Biology 16: e1008210. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008210

Hernandez, P.R., A. Woodcock, M. Estrada, and P.W. Schultz. 2018. Undergraduate research experiences broaden diversity in the scientific workforce. BioScience 68: 204–211. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/bix163 

Marks, J., 2017. Is science racist?. John Wiley & Sons. https://www.amazon.com/Science-Racist-Debating-Race/dp/0745689221 

Ruane, M.E. 2019. A brief history of the enduring phony science that perpetuates white supremacy. The Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-brief-history-of-the-enduring-phony-science-that-perpetuates-white-supremacy/2019/04/29/20e6aef0-5aeb-11e9-a00e-050dc7b82693_story.html 

Miriti, M.N., 2020. The elephant in the room: Race and STEM diversity. BioScience 70: 237–242. https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/70/3/237/5714639 

Wynn-Grant, R. 2019. On reporting scientific and racial history. Science 365: 1256–1257. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aay2459 

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in Natural Sciences

Bauer, H., F. Gebresenbet, M. Kiki, L. Simpson, and C. Sillero-Zubiri. 2019. Race and gender bias in the research community on African lions. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 11: 1–4. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2019.00024 

Campos-Arceiz, A., R.B. Primack, A.J. Miller-Rushing, and M. Maron. 2018. Striking underrepresentation of biodiversity-rich regions among editors of conservation journals. Biological Conservation 220: 330–333. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.028

Evangelista, D.A., A. Goodman, M.K. Kohli, S.S.T.B. Maflamills, M. Samuel-Foo, M.S. Herrera, J.L. Ware, and M. Wilson. 2020. Why diversity matters among those who study diversity. American Entomologist 66: 42–49. https://doi.org/10.1093/ae/tmaa037 

Graves, J.L., Jr. 2019. African Americans in evolutionary science: where we have been, and what’s next. Evolution: Education and Outreach 12: 18. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12052-019-0110-5 

Halsey, S.J., L.R. Strickland, M. Scott-Richardson, T. Perrin-Stowe, & L. Massenburg. 2020. Elevate, don’t assimilate, to revolutionize the experience of scientists who are Black, Indigenous and people of color. Nature Ecology & Evolution 4: 1291–1293. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-020-01297-9 

Jimenez, M.F., T.M. Laverty, S.P. Bombaci, K. Wilkins, D.E. Bennett, and L. Pejchar. 2019. Underrepresented faculty play a disproportionate role in advancing diversity and inclusion. Nature Ecology & Evolution 3: 1030–1033. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-019-0911-5 

Lee, D.N. 2020. Diversity and inclusion activisms in animal behaviour and the ABS: a historical view from the U.S.A. Animal Behaviour 164: 273–280. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2020.03.019 

Marín-Spiotta, E., R.T. Barnes, A.A. Berhe, M.G. Hastings, A. Mattheis, B. Schneider, and B.M. Williams. 2020. Hostile climates are barriers to diversifying the geosciences. Advances in Geosciences 53: 117–127. https://doi.org/10.5194/adgeo-53-117-2020 

McGill, B.M., Foster, M.J., Pruitt, A.N., Thomas, S.G., Arsenault, E.R., Hanschu, J., Wahwahsuck, K., Cortez, E., Zarek, K., Loecke, T.D. and Burgin, A.J., 2020. You are welcome here: considerations of diversity, equity, and inclusion for embracing new ecologists.https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202011.0342/v1 

O’Brien, L.T., H.L. Bart, and D.M. Garcia. 2020. Why are there so few ethnic minorities in ecology and evolutionary biology? Challenges to inclusion and the role of sense of belonging. Social Psychology of Education 23: 449–477. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-019-09538-x 

Tseng, M., R.W. El-Sabaawi, M.B. Kantar, J.H. Pantel, D.S. Srivastava, and J.L. Ware. 2020. Strategies and support for Black, Indigenous, and people of colour in ecology and evolutionary biology. Nature Ecology & Evolution 4: 1288–1290. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-020-1252-0 

Gender and LGBTQ+ in Natural Sciences

Barr, B., B. Montague-Hellen, and J. Yoder. 2017. Coming out: the experience of LGBT+ people in STEM. Genome Biology 18: 62. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-017-1198-y 

Baeckens, Simon, Simone P. Blomberg, and Richard Shine. "Inclusive science: ditch insensitive terminology." Nature 580, no. 7802 (2020): 185-186. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01034-z 

Campbell, L.G., S. Mehtani, M.E. Dozier, and J. Rinehart. 2013. Gender-heterogeneous working groups produce higher quality science. PLoS ONE 8: e79147. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0079147 

Cech, E.A. and Waidzunas, T.J., 2021. Systemic inequalities for LGBTQ professionals in STEM. Science Advances7(3), p.eabe0933. https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/3/eabe0933.abstract 

de Oliveira Ramalho, M., Decio, P., de Albuquerque, E.Z. and Esteves, F., 2020. Parenting in the field of myrmecology: career challenges in the 21st century. Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi-Ciências Naturais15(1), pp.27-37. http://editora.museu-goeldi.br/bn/artigos/cnv15n1_2020/parenting(ramalho).pdf 

Hughes, B.E., 2018. Coming out in STEM: factors affecting retention of sexual minority STEM students. Scientific Advances 4: eaao6373. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aao6373 

Madsen-Brooks, L. 2009. Challenging science as usual: women’s participation in American natural history museum work, 1870–1950. Journal of Women’s History 21: 11–38. https://doi.org/10.1353/jowh.0.0076 

Madsen-Brooks, L. 2013. A synthesis of expertise and expectations: women museum scientists, club women and populist natural science in the United States, 1890–1950. Gender & History 25: 27–46. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gend.12010 

Moss-Racusin, C.A., J.F. Dovidio, V.L. Brescoll, M.H. Graham, and J. Handelsman. 2012. Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 109: 16474–16479. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1211286109 

Salerno, P.E., M. Páez-Vacas, J.M. Guayasamin, and J.L. Stynoski. 2019. Male principal investigators (almost) don’t publish with women in ecology and zoology. PLoS One 14: e0218598. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0218598

Decolonial Approaches to Natural History Museums

Antonelli, A. 2020. Director of science at Kew: it’s time to decolonise botanical collections. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/director-of-science-at-kew-its-time-to-decolonise-botanical-collections-141070 

Ashby, J. 2020. Telling the Truth About Who Really Collected the “Hero Collections”. Blog of Natural Sciences Collection Association: https://natsca.blog/2020/10/22/telling-the-truth-about-who-really-collected-the-hero-collections/

Das, S., and M. Lowe. 2018. Nature read in Black and White: decolonial approaches to interpreting natural history collections. Journal of Natural Science Collections 6: 4–14. http://www.natsca.org/article/2509 

Kaye, J., S.F. Terry, E. Juengst, S. Coy, J.R. Harris, D. Chalmers, E.S. Dove, I. Budin-Ljøsne, C. Adebamowo, E. Ogbe, L. Bezuidenhout, M. Morrison, J.T. Minion, M.J. Murtagh, J. Minari, H. Teare, R. Isasi, K. Kato, E. Rial-Sebbag, P. Marshall, B. Koenig, and A. Cambon-Thomsen. 2018. Including all voices in international data-sharing governance. Human Genomics 12, 13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40246-018-0143-9 

Samaroudi, M., and K. Rodriguez Echavarria. 2019. 3-D printing is helping museums in repatriation and decolonization efforts. Phys.org https://phys.org/news/2019-12-d-museums-repatriation-decolonization-efforts.html 

Schoenberger, E. 2020. What does it mean to decolonize a museum? MuseumNext. https://www.museumnext.com/article/what-does-it-mean-to-decolonize-a-museum/ 

Syperek, P., S. Wade, M. Lowe, and R. Sabin. 2020. Curating ocean ecology at the Natural History Museum: Miranda Lowe and Richard Sabin in conversation with Pandora Syberek and Sarah Wade. Science Museum Group Journal. http://dx.doi.org/10.15180/201314 

Trivedi, N. 2015 Oppression: a museum primer https://incluseum.com/2015/02/04/oppression-a-museum-primer/

Wintle, C. 2016. Decolonizing the Smithsonian: Museums as microcosms of political encounter. The American Historical Review 121: 1492–1520. https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/121.5.1492

Displays of Power: A Natural History of Empire. Exhibition, Grant Museum of Zoology https://www.ucl.ac.uk/culture/whats-on/displays-power-exhibition 

Digitization and Accessibility

Bouton, E. 2018. Replication Ramification: Ethics for 3D Technology in Anthropology Collections. Theory and Practice, Vol. 1. http://articles.themuseumscholar.org/tp_vol1bouton 

Drew, J.A., C.S. Moreau, and M.L.J. Stiassny. 2017. Digitization of museum collections holds the potential to enhance researcher diversity. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1: 1789–1790. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0401-6 

Maschner, H., and C. Schou. 2013. Virtualization and the democratization of science: 3D technologies revolutionize museum research and access. In 2013 Digital Heritage International Congress (DigitalHeritage), 265–271. IEEE, Marseille, France. https://doi.org/10.1109/DigitalHeritage.2013.6744763 

Solly, M. 2017. This replica of a Tlingit Killer Whale hat is spurring dialogue about digitization. Smithsonian Magazine. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/replica-tlingit-killer-whale-hat-spurring-dialogue-about-digitization-180964483/ 

Human Remains and Cultural History

Bishara H. 2020. Penn Museum to Remove Skull Collection of Enslaved People. Hyperallergic https://hyperallergic.com/577941/penn-museum-to-remove-skull-collection-...

Colwell, C. 2017. Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America’s Culture. University of Chicago Press, 360 pp.

Musonda, F.B. 2013. Decolonising the Broken Hill Skull: cultural loss and a pathway to Zambian archaeological sovereignty. African Archaeological Review 30: 195–220. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10437-013-9134-3 

Redman, S.J. 2016. Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums. Harvard University Press, 408 pp.

Smith, C. 2005. Decolonising the museum: the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Antiquity 79: 424–439. http://hdl.handle.net/2328/14605 

Turner, H. 2015. Decolonizing ethnographic documentation: a critical history of the early museum catalogs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Cataloguing & Classification Quarterly 53: 658–676. https://doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2015.1010112 

Wade L. 2021. A racist scientist built a collection of human skulls. Should we still study them? Science. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abk3522 

Science Education and Academia

Brown, N. and Leigh, J., 2020. Ableism in Academia: Theorising Experiences of Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses in Higher Education.

Dawson, E. 2014. Equity in informal science education: developing an access and equity framework for science museums and science centres. Studies in Science Education 50: 209–247. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03057267.2014.957558 

Dawson, E. 2014. “Not designed for us”: How science museums and science centers socially exclude low‐income, minority ethnic groups. Science Education 98: 981–1008. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/sce.21133 

Dawson, E. 2018. Reimagining publics and (non) participation: Exploring exclusion from science communication through the experiences of low-income, minority ethnic groups. Public Understanding of Science 27: 772–786. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662517750072 

Emery, N.C., Bledsoe, E.K., Hasley, A.O. and Eaton, C.D., 2020. Cultivating inclusive instructional and research environments in ecology and evolutionary science. Ecology and Evolution. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ece3.7062 

Harris, B.N., P.C. McCarthy, A.M. Wright, H. Schutz, K.S. Boersma, S.L. Shepherd, L.A. Manning, 2020. From panic to pedagogy: Using online active learning to promote inclusive instruction in ecology and evolutionary biology courses and beyond. Ecology and Evolution 10: 12581–12612. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.6915 

Joseph, N.M., Haynes, C.M. and Cobb, F. eds., 2015. Interrogating whiteness and relinquishing power: White faculty's commitment to racial consciousness in STEM classrooms. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Other relevant works

Asselin, H. and Basile, S.I., 2018. Concrete ways to decolonize research. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies 17: 643–650. https://www.acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/download/1707/1441 

Demery, A.J.C. and Pipkin, M.A., 2021. Safe fieldwork strategies for at-risk individuals, their supervisors and institutions. Nature Ecology & Evolution5(1), pp.5-9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-020-01328-5 

Espin, J., S. Palmas, F. Carrasco-Rueda, K. Riemer, P.E. Allen, N. Berkebile, K.A. Hecht, K. Kastner-Wilcox, M.M. Núñez-Regueiro, C. Prince, C. Rios, E. Ross, B. Sangha, T. Tyler, J. Ungvari-Martin, M. Villegas, T.T. Cataldo, and E.M. Bruna. 2017. A persistent lack of international representation on editorial boards in environmental biology. PLoS Biology 15: e2002760. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.2002760 

Hazlett, M.A., K.M. Henderson, I.F. Zeitzer, and J.A. Drew. 2020. The geography of publishing in the Anthropocene. Conservation Science and Practice 2: e270. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.270 

Hiller, A.E., Cicero, C., Albe, M.J., Barclay, T.L., Spencer, C.L., Koo, M.S., Bowie, R.C. and Lacey, E.A., 2017. Mutualism in museums: A model for engaging undergraduates in biodiversity science. PLoS biology15(11), p.e2003318. https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.20...

Hong, L., and S.E. Page. 2004. Groups of diverse problem solvers can outperform groups of high-ability problem solves. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 101: 16385–16389. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0403723101

Lang, H.G. and Santiago-Blay, J.A., 2012. Contributions of deaf people to entomology: A hidden legacy. Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews5(3-4), pp.223-268. https://brill.com/view/journals/tar/5/3-4/article-p223_3.xml 

Mori, A.S., 2021. Diversity, equity, and inclusion in academia to guide society. Trends in ecology & evolutionhttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0169534721002858 

Perez, T.M., and J.A. Hogan. 2018. The changing nature of collaboration in tropical ecology and conservation. Biotropica 50: 563–567. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.12573 

Stefanoudis, P.V., Licuanan, W.Y., Morrison, T.H., Talma, S., Veitayaki, J. and Woodall, L.C., 2021. Turning the tide of parachute science. Current Biology31(4), pp.R184- R185. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982221000622

Tuck, E. and Yang, K.W., 2012. Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, education & society1(1). https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/des/article/view/18630 

Valllejos, J.G., 2021. What's in a name? Science 372(6543) pp. 754. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.372.6543.754 


Other relevant resources

National Science Foundation – Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: https://ncses.nsf.gov/pubs/nsf19304/ 

National Science Foundation – Characteristics of Scientists and Engineers with U.S. Doctorates: https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/doctoratework/ 

A Call to Action for an Anti-racisit Science Community from Geoscientists of Color: Listen, Act, Lead: https://notimeforsilence.org/ 

Museums Association Decolonising Museums Video Hub: https://www.museumsassociation.org/campaigns/decolonising-museums/video-...

American Society of Plant Biologists Anti-Racism Toolkit https://plantae.org/education/changing-cultures-and-climates/#anti-racis...


Unlearning Racism in Geoscience: https://urgeoscience.org/ 

Race in Museums: https://sustainingplaces.com/race-in-museums/  

Museums and Race: https://twitter.com/MuseumsandRace 

Inclusem: https://incluseum.com/  

Museum Hue: https://www.museumhue.com/ 

MASS: https://www.museumaction.org/ 

Teaching Tolerance: https://www.tolerance.org/ 

Diversify EEB: https://diversifyeeb.com/  

Project BioDiversify: https://projectbiodiversify.org/  

Wakeed: https://www.wakeed.org/ 

Diversity in Bioinformatics:https://www.folksingcb.com/