On Intentional Inclusion: A Database of African Plant scientists and Organizations

Black History Month is an opportunity to highlight the importance of racial justice and equity and remind us that creating equitable and inclusive environments requires ongoing efforts beyond performative allyship. This is especially true in scientific institutions. While several important commitments have been made by institutions to address systemic racism, “intentional inclusion” efforts that can significantly impact the conditions of marginalized individuals in science are often still lacking (Madzima and MacIntosh, 2021; Montgomery, 2022). Intentional inclusion efforts that directly help make scientific communities and professional societies truly equitable include, for example, bringing underrepresented scientists to the science table and valuing their contributions to scientific discovery.

To this end, the ASPB African Researchers Network has created a database of African Plant Scientists and Plant Science Organizations to be used as a resource in finding conference speakers, editorial board members and reviewers, collaborators, mentors, and candidates for positions and awards. The list includes plant scientists from different career stages working in public and private universities, industry, consulting firms, international research organizations, and government. These scientists have varying degrees of expertise in specific research fields across the breadth of plant science, including plant physiology, genetics and breeding, plant pathology, ecology and conservation biology, plant systematics and biogeography, and soil-plant-microbe interactions.

The African plant science ecosystem is rich in talent and is constantly growing. We hope the list will help conference organizers, journal editors, and academic institutions identify qualified scientists whose diverse skill sets and backgrounds can make valuable contributions to plant science. If you are an African plant scientist, please help us extend this list by nominating yourself here and forwarding the form to others so they can join the community.

Sign up on Plantae and join the African Researchers Network. Follow us on Twitter for news and events.


About the Author:

Sessen Daniel Iohannes is a PhD student at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and a coordinator of the ASPB African Researchers Network.