“A diverse workforce, with a variety of perspectives and experiences, working in an inclusive environment where all voices are heard and contributions are valued, will unlock new scientific and technological frontiers to positively impact our community, nation and world.” – Argonne Director Paul Kearns
The future success of Argonne depends on our ability to recruit and train a diverse workforce. The Photon Sciences Directorate (PSC) and its user community represent a wide spectrum of ages, races, abilities, gender identities, sexual orientations, national origins, religions and experiences. It is the combination of all of those backgrounds, plus our different research disciplines, levels of education and academic affiliations, that help make this a collaborative and innovative division to work in.
The laboratory’s core values of Impact, Safety, Integrity, Respect and Teamwork are the foundation for this community. It is up to all of us to build on those core values to create an equitable and inclusive culture. Argonne is committed to diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion for all employees, and the laboratory has launched an action plan to address systemic issues of inequality. Each of us can help to ensure that all PSC employees and users have the opportunity to work in an equitable and inclusive culture, and to advance to the fullest extent of their skills and abilities.
The PSC DEIA council is composed of representatives from all four PSC divisions and reports to the Lab Director's Council. Our mission, vision and goals can be found here. Everyone has a place in the DEIA space™
March's Voice of PSC :
- Speaker: Ezra Fresh, American Paralympic athlete
- Date: March 21, 2024 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
- Meeting Info: Join On Zoom - Add To Calendar
- Title: It’s OK to be different
This March, in recognition of Disability Awareness Month and our lab’s commitment to enhancing accessibility within the DEIA framework, the Voice of PSC is proud to present an inspiring session with Ezra Frech, a remarkable athlete and motivational speaker who embodies resilience, determination, and the power of embracing differences.
Born with congenital limb differences, Ezra has transcended physical limits with unparalleled determination. From setting national youth records at just 8 years old to shattering the world record in High Jump T63 at the Paris 2023 Para Athletics World Championship with a leap of 1.95 meters, Ezra’s journey is nothing short of inspirational. His accolades include being a double silver Parapan American Games medalist and a forceful advocate for inclusivity through sports.
Beyond his athletic prowess, 18-year-old Ezra is a co-founder of Angel City Sports, providing accessible sports training and competitive opportunities for individuals with physical disabilities. His early start as a motivational speaker has made him a prominent voice for raising awareness and understanding of physical challenges, advocating for a world where being different is not just accepted but celebrated.
Ezra’s message, “You can Dream it, You can Hope for it, or You can Make It Happen,” along with his young life’s work, underscores the importance of resilience, determination, and the power of focusing on what we have rather than what we lack. These qualities are not only relevant to overcoming personal challenges but also resonate deeply with the ethos of our laboratory work.
Join us for an unforgettable presentation that promises to inspire and motivate, reminding us all of the incredible achievements possible and how much we can learn when we embrace and support each other’s differences.
“Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” – Verna Myers
January's Voice of PSC :
- Speaker: Cathy O'Neil, best-selling author, mathematician and data scientist
- Meeting recordings: video - audio
- Title: AI and ChatGPT – Neither Wise Nor Threatening
If you’re curious about the data, rules and assumptions that underlie popular AI models, such as ChatGPT, as well as how the “age of the algorithm” may influence your life, there’s a special treat in store for you at the next Voice of PSC presentation on January 18, 2024.
Speaker Cathy O’Neil is a mathematician, data scientist and former Wall Street quantitative analyst who has authored the best-seller Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. She’s also the founder of O’Neil Risk Consulting & Algorithmic Auditing, which advises public agencies and private and public companies globally on how algorithms used in AI have major impacts on people’s lives.
AI advancements and large language models present remarkable opportunities in science and technology, and they will no doubt enhance laboratory operations. However, the emergence of AI raises concerns about biases in training data sets, ethical issues, and socio-economic considerations. This seminar will provide a platform to explore these topics and their connections to inclusivity and equity.
With her trademark humor and gift for making scientific language accessible, Cathy dispels the myths around whether to celebrate – or fear – these new tools, and she outlines how individuals and organizations can use them for maximum benefit while minimizing harm.
November's Voice of PSC :
- Meeting recordings: video or audio.
- Workbook: download here.
- Speaker: Colleen Bordeaux, best-selling author, speaker and entrepreneur
- Title: Healthy Mindset Workshop: How To Boost Your Happiness
Join us for November’s Voice of PSC, a Healthy Mindset Workshop, aimed at challenging and reshaping the limiting beliefs we often hold about our mental and emotional well-being. In this interactive session, Colleen Bordeaux challenges common misconceptions about mental and emotional well-being and provide actionable strategies for daily life.
During the workshop, you’ll explore why it’s essential to be aware of and control your thought patterns. You’ll also hear a transformative personal story that underscores the importance of mental well-being in every aspect of life, from your relationships to your career. This session is especially pertinent for ambitious professionals. You’ll learn why high-achievers often find it particularly challenging to manage their mental state and what can be done about it.
Whether you’re interested in self-improvement, understanding the human mind, or seeking practical tips for daily emotional wellness, this event is sure to be both enlightening and empowering.
October's Voice of PSC :
- Recording: Watch here
- Speaker: Jessica McCabe, founder of HowToADHD
- Title: Failing at Normal: An ADHD Success Story
October is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) awareness month. ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects between 5 and 8% of the global population. This why this month's event spotlights Jessica McCabe, the mind behind the popular YouTube channel HowToADHD.
In this presentation, Jessica will share her personal journey with ADHD, from early promise as a gifted child to the challenges she faced due to her diagnosis. She will delve into experiences of self-blame, frustration, and societal biases, including sexism.
But this talk is not just about challenges; it's also about understanding and empowerment. Jessica will explore the science behind ADHD, its effects on the brain, and the often-overlooked strengths that come with this condition.
Whether you or someone you know is affected by ADHD, or if you are simply interested in learning more about this complex condition, this event promises to be both educational and uplifting.
September's Voice of PSC :
- Meeting Recording: Watch here
- Speaker: Dr. Julia Shaw, Psychological scientist at University College London
- Title: Upgrade your Workplace Culture
How should we talk about harassment and discrimination at work? Are we even hearing about incidents when they happen? Can we encourage a culture of disclosure, ideally before incidents get out of hand? Dr Shaw’s research is in line with the preliminary findings of the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission, showing that improved and anonymous reporting is crucial to tackling workplace harassment and discrimination. She will share her latest scientific research, focusing specifically on scalable solutions to improving the way we report and deal with this timely issue.
August's Voice of PSC :
- Meeting Recording: Watch here
- Speaker: Dr Steve Robbins, S.L. Robbins & Associates
- Title: Your Brain is Good at Inclusion... Except When It's Not
This workshop provides an innovative, neuroscience-based look at the benefits of creating inclusive workplaces. Using the fields of cognitive neuroscience, social-psychology, and communication (among others), Dr. Robbins explores the human, hard-wired need to belong – and what happens when that need is not met. He demonstrates how our brain has natural and developed tendencies (e.g. unconscious biases) that can help us achieve goals, but also lead to unintended consequences, like the exclusion of others who are different than us. He provides listeners with terms and a language that invite people into productive conversations about inclusion and diversity. In the end, Dr. Robbins shows that the key to battling bias and a cultivating a more inclusive organizational culture begins with a practical understanding of how the brain operates, but ultimately requires continuous and intentional practice of fundamental skills (i.e., open-mindedness and mindful engagement). With such skills, organizations have a strong foundation for creating and maintaining an environment that unleashes everyone’s talents and skills.
This workshop makes a compelling, neuroscience-grounded case for why addressing inclusion and diversity is not an option, but an organizational imperative for excelling in a dynamic, 21st century world. And as always, Dr. Robbins brings all this science-based content neatly packaged in real-world relevance, a good dose of storytelling and laugh-out-loud humor. Ultimately, listeners will walk away with 1) a greater motivation to engage the work of inclusion and diversity, 2) better understand what that work looks like, and 3) how such work will enhance individual and organizational performance.
July's Voice of PSC :
- Meeting recording: Watch here
- Speaker: Lia Garvin, Workplace Strategist
- Topic: Owning Our Accomplishments
- Abstract: With performance appraisal season right around the corner, everyone will want to join this month’s Voice of PSC conversation with renowned workplace strategist Lia Garvin. Harvard Business Review, CNN Business, Fast Company, and more have all featured Garvin’s content, which helps give participants concrete tools for building confidence in talking about their work and owning their accomplishments and impact.
Why do we get stuck when talking about our work? What are the consequence of not talking about it? The good news is, we have the power to reframe our relationship with talking about our work.
June's Voice of PSC :
- Meeting recording: Watch here
- Speaker: Jeannie Gainsburg, Savvy Ally Action
- Topic: Good Talk: The Art of Having Useful Conversations
- Abstract: Successful diversity and inclusion initiatives involve creating judgment-free spaces where people can share their experiences, listen to each other, forgive mistakes, and encourage everyone to learn and grow. Yet the barriers to establishing these spaces in our increasingly polarized society can seem daunting. Starting with a conversation about how people learn, this workshop offers effective shame-free communication techniques that reduce defensiveness and open people’s ears to new ideas. Participants will leave feeling more confident in their skills as listeners and educators and more effective in their LGBTQ+ inclusion and advocacy efforts.
April's Voice of PSC :
- Date: April 20, 2023 at 1PM
- Meeting recording: Watch here
- Speaker: Dr Lou Strolger, Johns Hopkins University
- Topic: Reducing systemic biases through anonymized application processes
- Abstract: Dr. Louis-Gregory (Lou) Strolger is an Observatory Scientist and Deputy Head of the Instruments Division at Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), and a Research Scientist in Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University. His scientific research explores supernovae, cosmology, and dark energy, where he primarily works on the nature of supernovae progenitors. Dr. Strolger has been involved in science policy for much of his professional career. Notably, he had a key role in developing the dual-anonymous peer review process for observing time on the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been adopted at many astronomical observatories, and is rapidly gaining interest in physics communities and with federal granting agencies.
April's Voice of PSC - Extraordinary session :
- Date: April 19, 2023 at 1PM
- Meeting recording: Watch here
- Speakers: Dr Kristen Liesch, Forbes “D&I Trailblazer” and co-founder and co-CEO at Tidal Equality, & Dr. Sonali Mohapatra, Quantum Innovation Sector Lead at the National Quantum Computing Centre, Director of the Prospero Space Fellowship, and Founding Member and Chair of New Voices in Space Working Group on the Scottish Space Leadership Council.
- Topic: The power of small disturbances, the promise of ‘domino dynamics,’ and how to innovate for a more equitable future.
The grand challenges we face today - like climate change and inequality - can seem intractable. After all, the systems we live, work, and learn within are imbued with implicit bias and continue to produce inequitable and unjust outcomes. The field of science is no exception. Today, because bias, discrimination and inequity continue to prevent the full diversity of voices - and their ideas, questions, and solutions - from reaching the world’s megaphones and shaping what happens inside and outside the laboratory, we are necessarily stymying our progress toward a more equitable and sustainable world.
But this doesn't have to be our story.
With the need for innovation more urgent than ever, and a collective imperative to create the conditions where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential, small systemic disturbances have the power to create seismic change. And each of us can play an active role in creating those disturbances.In this session, you’ll hear a guest perspective from Dr. Sonali Mohapatra who will describe why now is the time to innovate the systems in the field of science for greater equity and equitable scientific innovation. Dr. Kristen Liesch will explore how small disturbances and ‘domino dynamics’ have the power to transform our systems and drive a more equitable and innovative future. She will share insight drawing on the science of behavioral change and the art of social change, and provide practical examples and tactics you can use to create “small disturbances” of your own.
March's Voice of PSC :
- Date: March 16, 2023 at 1PM
- Speakers: Dr Jess Wade, Imperial College London
- Topic: Jess Wade is creating inclusion in STEM, one page at a time: Meet the person who added 1,700+ underrepresented scientists to Wikipedia
- Meeting info: Join on Zoom
- Abstract: Jess Wade is a British physicist in the Blackett Laboratory at Imperial College London, specializing in Raman spectroscopy. Her research investigates polymer-based organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs). Her public engagement work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) advocates to increase gender equality and diversity in science as well as tackling systemic biases such as gender and racial bias on Wikipedia. Since the start of 2018 she has written the Wikipedia biographies of women and people of color scientists every single day.
January's Voice of PSC : Disability Equity in the Workplace
- Speakers: Carolyn Tomchik, ABLED Employee Resource Group & Chris Gorman, PSC DEIA Council Member
- Topic: Disability Equity in the Workplace
- Abstract: Carolyn and Chris introduce the concept of disability equity, different workplace situations that can present challenges for people with disabilities, and best practices for workplace disability inclusion. Following the presentation, we invite open discussion and reflect on how we can apply the concepts to promote a more inclusive and equitable workplace in PSC.
- Slides in box
- Recording from 2021 in box
- A to Z of Disabilities and Accommodations: askjan.org
- IFES Inclusion Inside
- ABLED seminar on March 22, 2023 at 2PM (CT): Mark Rentz from Argonne’s Employee Relations office will talk about Reasonable Accommodations and Working with Chronic Illness: Join on Teams
- ABLED email address: firstname.lastname@example.org