Founded by a group of leading neuroscientists, the ALBA Network aims to promote equity and diversity in the brain sciences.
The goals of the network are to:
- Promote best practices to counteract bias
- Recognise outstanding contributions to science and diversity
- Provide networking and mentoring opportunities to promote careers for members of underrepresented groups
These goals will be achieved through the following actions:
- Establishing a Declaration of best practices
- Curating a centralised resource of available data on bias, underrepresentation, and effective strategies
- Hosting networking events at major brain science conferences
- Establishing awards (e.g. Women in Brain Science/ Diversity Award) with partner sponsors
- Highlighting success stories of individuals and organisations to create role models
- Advocating with policy makers, funding agencies, institutions and other relevant stakeholders
- Creating a mentoring community
- Collecting a database of scientists as a resource for speaker invitations, award nominations
Alba means sunrise in several languages (e.g., Spanish, Italian). The word, with poetic resonance, evokes the beginning of a new day, when light is emerging to illuminate a new future.
Naming this network ALBA relates, thus, to the recognition that our scientific communities are beginning to acknowledge the importance of incorporating diversity and ensuring equality in the way we deal with science.
Although traditionally the field of neuroscience has been lagging behind in these topics, we consider that we are currently living an extraordinary momentum when progress starts happening.
Thus, the ALBA Network has the ambition to be an emerging energy that helps in catalysing this promising movement towards a definitive change wherein all brain scientists will have equal opportunities to thrive.
Definition of diversity
The ALBA network believes that diversity is a fundamental component of excellence in brain sciences, and that access to education, training, resources, mentorship- and jobs should be based on an individual's potential, not on their sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, nationality, religion- or culture. However, we know inequities exist, and talented scientists are excluded from opportunities in brain sciences because of these factors and personal choices that bear no relationship to their potential to succeed.
ALBA recognises the geographical, cultural and historical differences in the groups of individuals that are underrepresented across countries and within subfields of brain sciences. We expect the scientific community to present at least the same or even a greater diversity than in their respective countries. We are committed to supporting and advocating for actions and policies that foster equity, diversity- and inclusion in brain sciences across the globe.