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Scientists who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or members of other marginalized sexual orientations and gender identities (LGBTQ+) face serious disparities compared to their non-LGBTQ+ peers. Restoration science presents additional risks for LGBTQ+ researchers, including extensive time in the field—sometimes in locations that are hostile to LGBTQ+ people or create discomfort around gender expression and sexual orientation.
At the same time, restoration science is uniquely positioned to create change: the same principles that shape ecosystem restoration also provide a blueprint for cultivating inclusion in science. We present 10 recommendations for LGBTQ+ inclusion based on four guiding restoration principles: (1) Context is key; (2) Healthy environments require support; (3) Success needs to be defined; and (4) A diverse future is worth striving for.
We provide concrete actions that individuals and institutions can take and emphasize the positive outcomes that LGBTQ+ inclusion can generate for a healthier restoration community.
Implications for Practice
- LGBTQ+ researchers provide unique benefits to restoration science, but also face additional barriers in the discipline, resulting in a need for specific support structures.
- Removing these barriers and supporting LGBTQ+ researchers should be a priority for institutions and individuals engaging in restoration.
- Building LGBTQ+ support structures ultimately improves restoration as a discipline, but will require concentrated effort and concrete actions.
- By enacting the changes recommended here, restoration science can better support LGBTQ+ researchers and lead the way for other disciplines to do the same.
Read the full report.