For the past few years, the Science Philanthropy Alliance has hosted a special interest group of philanthropies on the subject of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. It is a group that researches inclusive, equitable practices in grant-making, grant design strategy, and internal hiring practices. Studies have shown that diverse teams produce more original results and address complex problems more creatively. As stated by the presidents of the national academies of science, engineering and medicine, “Diversity is crucial to the success of our society and our economy.”
On June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling to restrict affirmative action in higher education. The ruling, which directly affects higher education, may have far-reaching implications for institutions beyond universities. Many organizations can show that their affirmative action strategies have helped increase the representation and participation of women and minority populations in science, who have historically faced discrimination and barriers to access. In the wake of the ruling, many have recommitted to seek solutions that reduce inequalities and embrace diversity.
Considering the ruling, the Science Philanthropy Alliance reaffirms our commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion as expressed in the strategic plan we adopted last year. The response to the ruling by philanthropists, as illustrated below, shows that they will find new and effective ways to realize the full potential of all aspiring and current scientists.
Statements of our members follow.