The challenge and opportunity

WSAS acknowledges the existence of continuing racism, sexism, and other systemic inequities within the scientific ecosystem. When these inequities go unaddressed, science as a whole and WSAS are unable to fully benefit from the breadth of expertise of scientists and engineers from excluded and underrepresented groups. WSAS recognizes that obstacles to equity and inclusion exist within the structures of merit, promotion, and recognition used to evaluate those we invite to participate in our organization. WSAS has a responsibility to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion across all our programs, including membership, study committees, event speakers and topics, leadership, staff, and our education activities, such that we may carry out our mission ‘science in the service of Washington State.’

We commit to facilitating distinguished scientific and technical representation in WSAS across many axes, including but not limited to, geography, discipline, race and ethnicity, sex and gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and institutional affiliation. Our sustained commitment to continuous improvement relies on understanding our demographics and culture, and examining our practices to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion outcomes.


Following the lead of our colleagues at the National Academies[1], we have set out to define diversity, equity, and inclusion as it relates to WSAS activities and lay out our commitments.


Diversity includes a broad spectrum of attributes of WSAS groups including members, staff, consultants, volunteers, and others who seek to contribute to the mission and vision of WSAS. These attributes integrate a range of human differences including, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class / socioeconomic status, physical ability, education, marital status, language, religious or ethical values system and national origin.


Equity is an approach that ensures everyone has access to the same opportunities. Equity recognizes that individuals don’t all start from the same place on their professional paths because advantages and barriers exist. “Equity” is the absence of barriers, biases, and obstacles that impede equal access, fair treatment, and opportunity for contribution by all members, staff, and volunteers in all working, convening, and social environments to contribute to the values, mission, and vision of WSAS. It refers to the process WSAS will engage in to ensure that people with marginalized identities have the opportunity to grow, contribute, and develop.


Inclusion is defined as soliciting, valuing, and respecting the contributions of all WSAS members, staff, consultants, volunteers, and others in all working, convening, and social environments in support of the mission, vision, values, and strategic priorities of WSAS, which recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of all.

WSAS DEI Statement

The Washington State Academy of Sciences requires and values the diversity of its membership, staff, volunteers, consultants, and others who seek to contribute to our mission and recognizes that inclusion and equity are vital to ensure all viewpoints, perspectives, and talents are brought to bear in addressing Washington State’s most important challenges.

WSAS commits to seeking diversity, recognizes talent is broadly distributed in society, acknowledges that unique perspectives drive innovation, appreciates the broad dimensions of identity, and confronts historic barriers and contemporary hurdles that shape and distort participation and success in education and all professions.

WSAS commits to engendering equity that removes barriers, promotes access, and supports positive working, convening and social environments in all our programs and events.

WSAS commits to fostering inclusion that recognizes the significant contributions of diverse and underrepresented populations, celebrates multiple approaches and points of view in developing optimal solutions, builds capacity to strengthen the scientific community, and fosters and encourages relationships within WSAS working, convening and social environments in all our programs and events.

[1] National Academy of Engineering. Diversity Statement.