July 24, 2019
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Dear Colleagues,

NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins recently issued a statement that “breaking up the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) bias that is preventing women and other groups underrepresented in science from achieving their rightful place in scientific leadership must begin at the top.” He called for an end to the tradition in science of all-male speaking panels, informally known as “manels” and noted that he will decline to take part in scientific meetings and other high-level conferences in which “inclusiveness is not evident in the agenda.” He challenged other scientific leaders across the biomedical enterprise to do the same.

I fully support this commitment to diversity and inclusion. Moving forward, NIAMS leadership will only accept invitations to speak at scientific conferences and meetings that demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion through representation of key participants, including chairs, speakers, and panelists.

NIAMS is committed to ensuring strong diversity and inclusion not only at conferences, but across the scientific landscape. Diversity in voices and perspectives - from conference keynote speakers to summer interns participating in lab meetings - enriches discussions and strengthens science.

Robert H. Carter, M.D.
Acting Director
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
National Institutes of Health