Community Spotlights

We are an interdisciplinary hub of scholars studying plants, microbes, neuroscience, cellular development, evolution, ecology, & biodiversity at Washington University in St. Louis. 

We are Biology. 

Monthly Highlight

Bruce Carlson

"It’s abundantly clear that the makeup of our department, and the university as a whole, is not reflective of the broader community that Wash U is in. We want to make efforts to increase diversity and increase equity, but achieving that isn’t something you can do by flipping a switch on policy. It’s something that requires cultural change that comes about slowly, with a lot of effort and with a genuine desire on the part of those who hold the privilege to really listen to the concerns of those who are in the minority. We formed the Biology Inclusion Committee with having in mind that it’s not about just making diversity happen or making equity happen, that diversity and equity are the end products of creating an environment that is truly inclusive and welcomes everyone, and makes them feel at home, whether they are students, staff, or faculty. So that’s the guiding philosophy and why we named it “inclusion” committee as opposed to diversity or equity committee. Really the focus needs to be on inclusion and changing the culture of the institution, which is long, slow, hard work, but that is what fosters diversity and allows people to truly feel welcome.” Bruce Carlson, Associate Professor of Biology and Chair of the Inclusion Committee

Interviewed by Erin Gerrity

“Being a scientist is about finding out all of these little secrets that are in the natural world that you cannot see with your eyes. For example, one insect I worked on is a major crop pest that destroys fields of squash and watermelon. But it can’t survive without this tiny microbe inside of it. By just looking at it, you would never guess that was the case. To me, it is just fun to be privy to all of these little secrets and to discover new ones and to figure out how our world really works.”

―Justine GarciaPostdoctoral Research Associate

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