Diversity has become widely acknowledged as a challenge in European science governance. While the importance of gender diversity is almost universally embraced by European research organizations, approaches to ethnic and racial diversity vary widely.
In some contexts, the controversial character of ethnic and racial labels leads to their avoidance in policy contexts. For example, the European Commission approach to 'responsible research and innovation' emphasizes “gender diversity” as one of its five keys but avoids to even mention other forms of diversity. In other contexts, diversity become acknowledged through various categories such as 'culture', 'ethnicity'. 'language', 'nationality', 'minorities', or'race'. For example, the strategic report of Wageningen UR aims tó 'promote diversity in the organisation and a balanced distribution of nationalities and genders'. However, such framings may fail to promote equality among groups that are socially disadvantaged (e.g. national minorities) while favoring largely unaffected groups (e.g. EU foreigners).
The aim of your master thesis will be to engage with questions such as:
- Do European science organizations acknowledge ethnic and racial diversity as relevant in research policy?
- What categories and strategies are used in engaging with ethnic and racial diversity?
- How would an adequate engagement with these issues look like? For example, does the category 'race' in policy contexts help to address social inequity or does it lead to misunderstanding and stereotyping?
The thesis will be embedded in the project Responsible Research and Innovation in Practice at the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group.