EPOD (Education, Public Outreach, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) Discussion is a weekly discussion group run by the MSI coordinator. Originally with a focus on education and outreach, it has more recently broadened into topics at the intersection of education, equity, and inclusion. EPOD discussions are paper-based, but the paper is usually meant to be a way of framing the discussion of a broader issue. We have also discussed various best practices reports that have been released in the past two years from professional bodies like the AAS, the AIP, and CASCA. The discussion is targeted at MSI members at all levels (undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty), but we regularly welcome participants from any of our member departments even if they aren’t MSI members. Participants are encouraged to suggest topics and lead the discussion if they so choose!
EPOD is meant to give people a space in which to learn about and talk about equity, diversity, and inclusion and how these issues intersect with academia and education. It is also a space in which to source best practices and think about what kind of changes we can implement as a research centre to become a more inclusive and welcoming space for underrepresented groups.In the past year we have also introduced EPOD Hack Sessions, where we pick a topic we’ve discussed and try to tackle a specific project that relates to it. So far we’ve done a quantitative study of the gender breakdown of the department and we started writing a climate survey (which then went on to be its own task force). Preliminary results of the former went on to become the basis of a conference presentation and two posters.
EPOD is held on Wednesday afternoons, all are welcome!