Exploring Diversity Science

On April 28 in the Clark-Fox Forum in Hillman Hall, the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences will be hosting the Diversity Science Symposium. If the term “diversity science” is new to you, diversity science can be defined as the scientific study of the causes and consequences of racism, socioeconomic and health disparities, and bias. Diversity scientists seek to know how biases and disparities emerge, what are their consequences, and how we can overcome them as individuals and as a society.

This burgeoning field is fascinating, and spans multiple disciplines—the symposium will mimic this interdisciplinary nature, calling upon a variety of speakers from many distinguished universities to touch on a broad range of subject matter. Jeffrey M. Zacks, the associate chair of the psychological & brain sciences department, detailed some of the material to be covered by the speakers saying, “The event will be a daylong deep-dive into the psychological forces that shape how people see and are seen by each other. The talks will span from literally how we perceive others’ faces to how we feel into the pain of others we see as different, from how people come to identify as a member of a non-privileged group to how members of privileged groups respond to the emergence of diversity, from processes within a single brain to developmental changes that can shape a society."

This highly acclaimed group of speakers will be presenting the most pertinent, current information from the world of diversity science, and it is sure to be an event that will leave those who attend with a far more in-depth notion of the field. The event's keynote speaker is particularly known for his expertise in this area. Zacks says, “The keynote speaker, Jim Sidanius, who is a psychology professor at Harvard University, will describe how social dominance and multiple group identification shape how we view others.”

Additionally, the wide range of subject matter makes the event appealing to those both deeply within and entirely outside of the world of psychology. Zacks noted this adding, “I very much hope this event will jumpstart collaborations across the university, from the intrapersonal to the societal and from the psychological to the neuroscientific to the sociological and economic.”

The Diversity Science Symposium will take place on April 28th in the Clark-Fox Forum in Hillman Hall, from 9:00 to 5:00 with a reception to follow.