Newswise — A new general poster session topic called “Scholarship of Diversity” has been added to the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) in Washington, DC. This new topic is sure to foster conversations around diversity and inclusion in the life sciences.

According to the National Institutes of Health, four key areas have been identified as “ripe for scientific exploration and opportunity” in the scholarship of diversity arena. These include:

  • The impact of diversity on research quality and productivity
  • Evidence-based approaches to improving recruitment and retention in the biomedical research workforce
  • Individual and institutional barriers to workforce diversity
  • Scaling and dissemination of strategies for eliminating barriers to career transitions

Are you conducting research in one of these areas? Submit your abstract and plan to attend the 2019 ASCB|EMBO Meeting December 7-11 in Washington, DC. Further details and a link to submit an abstract can be found here:

Biologists are increasingly contributing to research on implicit bias and its damaging effects on the scientific workforce [1], and ASCB, through its journal CBE—Life Sciences Education (LSE), provides a leading forum for the dissemination of evidence-based approaches (see the September 2016 special issue on Broadening Participation). Additionally, psychologists and neuroscientists have begun to make inroads into the neural basis of bias and prejudice [2], advances that open the door for the study of the cellular mechanisms that underpin these cognitive processes.

Implicit bias also impacts healthcare. ASCB is in a strong position to foster research on the biology of inclusion, health disparities, and the promise of precision medicine for personalized medical care. For example, the Precision Medicine Initiative seeks to tailor medical treatments to the individual characteristics of the patient, (e.g., the genome, metabolome, and microbiome). By surmounting these biases, life scientists can create a research environment that encourages diversity and inclusion so that all may reap the benefits realized by the latest discoveries in bioscience.


  1. Kaatz, Anna et al. “Fair Play: A Study of Scientific Workforce Trainers' Experience Playing an Educational Video Game about Racial Bias.” CBE life sciences education 16,2 (2017): ar27. doi:10.1187/cbe.15-06-0140
  2. Amodia, DM. “The neuroscience of prejudice and stereotyping.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 2014 Oct;15(10):670-82. Epub 2014 Sep 4. doi: 10.1038/nrn3800