SCIENTISTS ARE HUMANS is an online magazine which aims to build a better STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) through sharing
- evidence based recommendations for improving the experience of doing science (what we know as scientists can make things better)
- human stories (what we know as humans about what is good, or bad, about science)
We will publish contributions anonymously at author request.
Without humans, there is no science. All of us working in STEM are passionate about our fields and want to push back knowledge, develop new systems and build great stuff. But sometimes, we find the demands of scientific culture pushes us beyond what we can do as humans.
This push can happen to people of any ethnicity, social class, age group, gender, sexuality, disability status or career stage. It might be because of transient things in our science, or in our non-scientific lives. It might be an issue of systematic privilege, or caring responsibility, or long-term health.
The only people who can do anything about this are scientists themselves.
We believe that science would be better if it could be more kind.
Kindness matters as much to the fresh-faced 18 year old student starting out in a university away from home for the first time as it does to the senior professor stood in a lab looking over their team of post-docs. We all need to be more kind, and we will all benefit from a profession with kindness at its core.
Signing up to this manifesto means you sign up to the following 10 promises:
- I will BE MORE UNDERSTANDING: I will work to understand the experiences of scientists who are different to me, by reading their stories and by talking to them
- I will develop a WORK-LIFE BALANCE which is kind to myself, and help others to do the same: I will not assume that everyone can work long or traditionally antisocial hours. We all love science, but we can’t all spend all our time on it
- I will set KIND DEADLINES: I will set people realistic deadlines for work
- I will give THOUGHTFUL PRESENTATIONS and LECTURES: I will use a microphone when available. I will try to provide notes and/or slides in advance. I will avoid jargon and be aware that some people may be language learners, hard of hearing, or distracted
- I will engage in KIND PEER REVIEW: I will write reviews and responses which are constructive and helpful. I will be careful in my analysis, generous with my praise and constructive in my criticism. I will not say things in an anonymous setting which I would not say face-to-face. I will consider signing my reports when I believe that further dialogue would be helpful with the authors.
- I will build KIND TEAMS: I will look after my colleagues and support them to grow and develop in the best way for them. I will share workload fairly and transparently. In meetings, I will ensure that everyone has the opportunity to speak and that they are comfortable asking questions – in kind teams there are no stupid questions.
- I will give KIND FEEDBACK: I will think about the wellbeing of the person who created a piece of work, and provide feedback which helps constructively. I will not avoid highlighting limitations, knowing that developing a piece of work requires careful criticism as well as praise.
- I will be MORE THOUGHTFUL when I am LEARNING: I will take responsibility for my own learning and consider the wellbeing of support, teaching and training staff
- I will participate in and organise FRIENDLY CONFERENCES: I will ask good questions, keep to time, and check in on people who could be isolated. When organising conferences I will talk to minority and disability groups to see if there are things I can do to make the conference more accessible, friendly and kind. I will only take part in conferences that reflect and promote diversity, inclusion and belonging for the community and participants.
- I will PAUSE FOR THOUGHT: I will take time to think of the humans behind the science