BME in STEM – A Bristol University Report 2019

BME in STEM – A Bristol University Report 2019

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On 6th February 2019, Black2Nature attended a conference at Bristol University, BME in STEM organised by a first-year PhD student, Lara Lalemi

Lara Lalemi opening at BME in STEM Conference Panel
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The report produced is essential reading for anyone who wants to see an increase in diversity in the nature conservation, nature media and environmental sectors.

BME in STEM Report

Primary recommendations (for within 1-5 years implementation) are:

  • Unconscious bias training for all University staff and students, mandatory for members of committees or interview panels, and for personnel involved in teaching.
  • Instigate mentoring schemes aimed at supporting BAME accepted applicants, students, and staff.
  • Provide a diverse curriculum that includes BAME contributions to science and ensures diversity on teaching committees. Where it is not possible to find diversity in professorial staff, the introduction of BAME post-doctorates and postgraduates to the committee should be implemented.
  • Introduce anonymised applications in the undergraduate recruitment process.
  • BAME role models are needed at all career stages and can be provided through outreach activities, invited speakers and by ensuring the curriculum includes contributions made by BAME individuals to STEM.

BME in STEM Conference Panel

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A detailed action plan summarising all of the recommendations can be found at the very end of this document.

Within a year of submitting this report, a follow-up review will be conducted to assess how far the university has come in implementing these changes.

 

Panel and Speakers:

BME in STEM Conference Panel

Copyright BME in STEM Report

    • Cllr. Cleo Lake; the Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor of Bristol
    • Dr Erinma Ochu MBE; Lecturer in Science Communication and Future Media at the University
      of Salford
    • Dr Emmanuel Adukwu; Senior Lecturer (Biomedical Science) and Employability Lead –
      Coordinator UWE Africa Network and Africa Week at UWE
    • Dr Mark Richards; Senior Teaching Fellow and Head of Physics Outreach at Imperial College
      London
    • Professor Fred Manby; Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at University of Bristol
    • Professor Christina Hicks; Lecturer in Political Ecology at Lancaster University
    • Nasra Ayub; Undergraduate Education Officer at University of Bristol Student Union Doctoral College

Cleo Lake at BME in STEM Conference Panel

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Facilitators:

    • Mr Sammuel Zubair; University of Bristol
    • Ms. Rebecca Scott; University of Bristol
    • Mr Robiu Salisu; University of Bristol
    • Miss Nuzhat Tabassum; University of Bristol
    • Miss Angela Suriyakumaran; University of Bristol
    • Mr Khalid Hammad; University of Bristol
    • Mrs. Helena Craig; Bristol local
    • Dr Mark Richards; Imperial College London
    • Ms. Jenny Hawkins; University of Bristol, GW4+

BME in STEM Conference Panel

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Helping Members:

    • Ms Sally Patterson; University of Bristol
    • Miss Tumi Edun; University of Bristol
    • Miss Vicky Phung; University of Bristol
    • Miss Maggie Kadembo; University of Bristol
    • Mr David Nzewi; University of Bristol
    • Miss Nana Agyare; University of Bristol
    • Miss Mwaka Sipula; University of Bristol
    • Mr Jamie Davis; University of Bristol
    • Mr Julio Mkok; University of Bristol
    • Miss Emma Crossley; University of Bristol
    • Miss Mae Masters; University of Bristol
    • Miss Joanna Clowes; University of Bristol
    • Miss Marla Mbemba; University of Bristol
    • Dr Natalie Pridmore; University of BristolREFERENCES
  1. http://www.rsc.org/globalassets/02-about-us/our-strategy/inclusion-diversity/cm-044-17_a4- diversity-landscape-of-the-chemical-sciences-report_web-2.pdf accessed 10/03/2019.
  2. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/inclusion/race-in-the-workplace/ accessed 10/03/2019.
  3. Higher education student and staff records, HESA, 2017, https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-andanalysis.
  4. Dualeh, BME Attainment gap, Bristol SU, 2017, 1-37
  5. https://medium.com/@erinmaochu/connecting-people-place-re-thinking-bme-in-stem-
    bce9faf44cbd accessed 03/03/2019.
  6. R. Glover, T.G. Harrison, D.E. Shallcross, Acta Didactica Napocensia, 2016, 9, 79-97.
  7. L Muller, S. Roberts, R. C. Wilson, J. J. Remedios, S. Illingworth, R. Graves, T. Trent, J.
    Henderson, J. Wilkinson, M. Wilkinson and A. Desai, Phys. Educ. 2013, 48, 17
  8. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-40497882 accessed 10/03/2019.
  9. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/may/05/bristol-university-slave-trade-
    history?fbclid=IwAR1vL6MUOdyu6ueTy8Mb6Tn1PuFI07R13mFlMEJ9CWHxeVAjW6Af2Bjb7m4
  10. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alumni/13ristol-alumni/prominent-alumni accessed 10/03/2019.

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Best Birding Apps 2019 – BirdWatchingBuzz

Best Birding Apps 2019 – BirdWatchingBuzz

One of the things I like to keep up to date with is other bird-related websites and blogs.

On the USA BirdWatchingBuzz website, there is a really comprehensive review of Apps for birding in the USA where they seem to be miles ahead https://birdwatchingbuzz.com/birding-apps/

Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl with her Leica Bins

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As I do a lot of world birding, sometimes it’s hard to know what the best Apps are that are available and good to use abroad.

I really liked the review for Larkwire, which helps you learn bird calls, as it can be overwhelming learning lots of bird song and calls in a new country. The review gives all the information you need about this and 4 other Apps.

Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl with Author Jonathan Franzen

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Become an expert packer for birding trips

Become an expert packer for birding trips

This is an article that I contributed to for the Mighty Goods website in the USA with 4 birders writing about how we prepare and pack for birding trips
One of them is Bill Thompson III who has sadly since died. The other two contributers are Jeff Reiter and Eva Matthews Lark.
 
This is one of the quesions I answered for my contributions:


What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all bird watchers bring?

Can you guess what I included from one of these photos?

Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl with Author Jonathan Franzen
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Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl with Author Jonathan Franzen magazine cover
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Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl with her Leica binoculars
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Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl
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Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl 
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Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl 
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Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl 
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Bird Cottage by Eva Meijer

Bird Cottage by Eva Meijer

I was intrigued by this remarkable story that the author, Eva Meijer, dug up a few years ago about one fascinating – and almost entirely forgotten – a woman who was way ahead of her time when she published her revolutionary findings on bird behaviour. I wanted to help us spread the word about her!

Len Howard, the mysterious woman behind the once bestselling Birds as Individuals and Living With Birds, was a promising violinist before she decided to ditch society and city life in order to dedicate herself to her one life-long passion – birds. Leaving London behind, she bought what is now known as Bird Cottage, a small property in East Sussex where she led a very private life, observing the curious habits of the garden birds nearby and quietly working on her research until her death in 1973.

Eva Meijer draws such a tender and convincing portrait of this eccentric recluse of British nature writing that it’s impossible not to be infected with her passion for birds! What emerges is a complex character, a restless and passionate woman that could not be pinned down by society and who continued her work regardless of the prejudice against female scientists. This is an emotionally rich and measured literary debut that brings Len Howard back to life and sheds some light on her woefully neglected research. It is being published on 30th May 2019 and I wanted to help bring the life and work of Len Howard to others!

BIRD COTTAGE

By Eva Meijer

Translated by Antoinette Fawcett

ISBN 9781782273950 | £8.99 | 256pp

NEW IN PAPERBACK

Published 30th May 2019

The beautiful and inspiring story of one woman’s remarkable relationship with British garden birds, and how it changed her life

‘I tend my herd and flock by day so I have to read into the night; I cannot put it down’ – Rosamund Young, bestselling author of The Secret Life of Cows

‘A convincing account of total dedication and self-belief, and there is beauty and joy in Len’s strange life… entertaining and thought-provoking’ – Guardian

‘Truly original… There’s a sense of birdlike lightness and agility about this episodic, elliptical novel’ – Daily Mail

‘The author’s fluid, seemingly weightless prose is perfectly matched to the birds she describes… This beautiful creation will be a source of great pleasure for birders and readers alike’ – Country Life

‘A delightful, poignant tale’ – Saga Magazine

‘A celebration of a life spent immersed in nature’ – Town & Country

Bewitching… will make you want to throw away your Oyster card and move to a remote cottage… Read it to de-stress – The Lady

 

Len Howard at her cottage in Ditchling

Len Howard was forty years old when she decided to leave her London life and loves behind, retire to the English countryside and devote the rest of her days to her one true passion, birds.

Moving to a small cottage in Sussex, she wrote two bestselling books, astonishing the world with her observations on the tits, robins, sparrows and other birds that lived nearby, flew freely in and out of her windows, and would even perch on her shoulder as she typed.

This moving novel imagines the story of this remarkable woman’s decision to defy society’s expectations, and the joy she drew from her extraordinary relationship with the natural world.

THIS AUTHOR: Eva Meijer

Eva Meijer is a Dutch author, artist, singer, songwriter and philosopher. Her non-fiction study on Animal Communication, Animal Languages, is forthcoming in English in 2019. Bird Cottage is her first novel to be translated into English, has been nominated for the BNG and Libris prizes in the Netherlands and is being translated into several languages. Eva Meijer was awarded the Halewijn Prize in 2017 for all the books she has written so far.

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Sexism in nature

Sexism in nature

I wrote this post last September after Chris Packham published his fantastic People’s Manifesto for Wildlife and the people’s Walk for Wildlife that followed.

It was the time that I thought female naturalists should have stood up together against sexism and so I felt it was a good day to re-post my previous two blog posts about sexism in birding, nature and conservation.

The posts are from Nov 2015 and Jan 2016, but nothing has really changed since the time I wrote them, except I have now organised eight nature camps for Visible Minority Ethnic (VME) children & teenagers as well as those interested in nature, a conference about how to engage VME people with nature called Race Equality in Nature and set up Black2Nature.

This is what I wrote back then bit.ly/2jCGf13 and http://bit.ly/2kdjI9X.

In the last six months, I have had lots of criticism aimed at me for daring to say that face-to-face competitions tend to be avoided by lots of girls and some boys. This was in response to the fact that no girls had entered the Young Birder of the Year Competition at Migfest for the last two years in a row.

I was told by the organisers that it was my fault that I didn’t like competitions and that I was just afraid of losing. I explained that I had entered the American Birding Association Young Birder of the Year and had no problems with competitions, just this kind of competition which also takes place at the BTO young birders camp.

Birding and twitching in the UK are highly competitive with people keeping lists of their birds and hoping to beat others. Young birders can not help but be impacted by this macho culture. Lots of girls have stood up to tell me that they haven’t had any problems with sexism, implying it must be my problem or imagination. Why might their experience be different to mine?

Some reasons:
I stand out as competition.
I was in a BBC TV documentary as a child twitcher, from which some concluded that I wasn’t interested in birding. This made me fair game for people to “prove” this;
I was the youngest person to see 400 birds in the UK and have seen 485 birds. Young birders my age can’t beat this, but they can set out to beat me in a skills competition;
I have seen over 5000 birds in the world, with lots of adult male birders commenting on social media that they bet my skills are rubbish, whilst others feel it is their duty to demonstrate that I am a poorly skilled birder.
I am vocal with opinions.

When I have talked about sexism in conservation recently on social media, a number of White middle-class women told me how their employers were amazing. Maybe they are TO THEM, however, it is important to look at the total experience and not just a few individuals. There is lots of evidence of sexism within nature, conservation and the environmental sector. Just a quick look at the top male

What can I do to change this?

A couple of years ago, a young birder in his early twenties gave me the most honest advice. He said that if I wanted to fit in with other young male birders, I had to do the following:
Shut down my Birdgirl blog
Shut down by Birdgirl FB Page and Twitter
Stop using the name Birdgirl
Delete my BUBO birding lists
NEVER refer to how many birds I’ve seen
Set up a new twitter account, only follow birders and only RT UK bird news
Stop posting photos from birding trips abroad
Stop my diversity campaigning and shut down Black2Nature
Stop talking to any kind of media – no TV, no articles, no talks
Stop holding my Camp Avalon nature weekends
Go to the BTO young birders camp and act dumb
Chat to other young birders on social media & act dumb I know he was totally right, but I don’t want to fit in that much.  It was too much to sacrifice and I would hate myself for doing it. So instead, I stay away from young birders. I stay away from “competitions” and I stay away from the BTO camp.

 

Camp Avalon

 

Camp Avalon

I have lots of stories and examples but I don’t want to upset anyone.
So, you see, I am not afraid of losing, I am afraid of winning.
Person by person, let’s change this world of objectification and misogyny.

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