News and latest updates


The BAS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Network, together with the Diversity in Polar Science Initiative (DiPSI) project group are putting together activities to support and accelerate inclusion work in the wider UK Polar Community. See what’s going on below!


Disability History Month & International day of Persons with Disabilities

Friday December 3rd marked the International Day of People with Disabilities, a day recognised by the United Nations in order to promote disability rights world-wide.  This year’s theme is the leadership and participation of persons with disabilities towards an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-Covid-19 world.  There is an emphasis that creation of an equitable and inclusive culture requires people with disabilities, and other underrepresented individuals, to be fully involved in future plans. We can all do our part to understand more about disability and its impact on our colleagues and friends. DiPSI is working with partners across UKRI and NERC to increase visibility and uptake of the range of inclusion training sessions that are available to staff at all levels.

  • Read this blog by Rad Sharma, BAS Mechanical Engineer, and Dr Kate Hendry, Associate Professor at the University of Bristol, who share their experiences of learning British Sign Language via the latest Diversity in UK Polar Science blog.
  • You can also head over to the JD Dragon Disability Rights Podcast for an interview with BAS Director of Innovation & Impact, Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley and DiPSI Steering Group member Prof Simon McKeown. The podcast is hosted by Joshua Downey who was born with Cerebral Palsy and Dyspraxia. Joshua is dedicated to sharing his story and experiences with the world.

You can read about some of our past activities below:

The first 18 month of the DiPSI project have come to an end in Spring 2021, and the first stage report of this project is now available. You can also find the list of key outcomes and activities on our delivery plan page. We have recently expanded our steering committee. Meet our steering committee members via this link, and head over to read our latest blog from one of our new co-chairs, Professor Martin Siegert. Martin talks about the importance of centring anti-racism work at the heart of climate action.

The UK Polar Horizons 2021 Programme Launch week was organised between the 2nd and 5th of March. We will be running online activities throughout 2021, keep checking back to this page for updates on upcoming open online events. You can watch the launch recording below.

If you would like to hear more and be kept up-to-date about the 2021 Polar Horizons, please email us directly.

Race Impact Survey Report

The Survey, carried out during October 2020, generated 174 responses from polar academics within UK universities and polar research institutions.  Recommendations and issues identified by researchers from within the polar research community indicate strong support for a more diverse and inclusive community; and will help inform positive actions towards correcting the imbalance in racial diversity and inclusivity in UK STEM areas. Read more about the key findings and find the full Race Impact Survey Report through this link.

Journeys within Polar Science talk

In the second to last UK Polar Horizons talk series titled “Journeys within Polar Science”, BAS Oceanographer Dr Dan Jones shares this honest conversation of his journey from the beginning of his science career to today. Dan talks about the highs, the lows, the battles with impostor syndrome and the importance of a supportive community. A seasoned podcast host, Dan has a natural radio voice that seems heaven sent in these stressful pandemic times!

Don’t miss out on Dan’s podcast “Climate Scientist”.

International day of people with disabilities, December 3rd

There are between 11 and 14.1 million people in the UK with a disability (16-20% of the population). There is still much work to be done to ensure that people with a disability experience fair treatment and access to opportunities.  We can help this by educating ourselves about different disabilities, understanding that a disability doesn’t stop someone from living a full and productive life, and challenging our own biases or assumptions that may have inadvertently developed. DiPSI steering committee member Simon McKeown gave a speech for the celebratory day at a UN hosted event.

Polar Pride day, November 18th

The DiPSI steering committee and UK Polar Horizons students joined the Pride in Polar Research network in celebration of the Polar Pride day on the 18th of November. You can find pictures and stories shared on the day using #PolarPride on your favourite social media platform!

“From rocks to wrecks” Camilla Nichol’s Journeys within Polar Science talk, Polar Pride Day, Nov 18th

Camilla Nichol from the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust shares her journey within Polar Science, having studied Geology at the University of Edinburgh followed by Museum Studies at the University of Leicester.  She has had a varied 20+year museum career working for organisations with collections as diverse as geology, scientific and medical instruments, anatomy and pathology, gemmology, Scottish football and the early oil industry.

International Stammering awareness day, October 22nd

To highlight International Stammering awareness day, BAS scientist and Ocean modeller Kaitlin Naughten discusses what we can do as individuals and as institutions to support our colleagues who stammer. Read Kaitlin’s blog “Make sure stammered voices are heard“.

October is Black History Month in the UK

This national celebration aims to promote and celebrate Black contributions to society. We want to highlight contributions of Black people within the Polar community. Head over and read about former BAS scientist Sharon Grants’ experience within the Polar Community, and especially her reflections on “Why me, why now?” in this guest blog.

Dr Melissa Burt talks to UK Polar Horizons, October 27th

In celebration of Black History Month, we welcomed Dr Melissa Burt to share her journey in Atmospheric science and Diversity in our Diversity in Polar Science webinar. Melissa is a successful woman in STEM, BAME researcher and diversity champion. To watch the recording of Melissa’s talk visit the DiPSI resource page and navigate to the “Journeys into Polar Science” playlist.