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Dr. Imogen Coe - Creating Cultures of Inclusive Excellence in Science & Engineering by Embedding Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility

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Creating Cultures of Inclusive Excellence in Science & Engineering by Embedding Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility


Abstract: Academic research in science and engineering in the Canadian post-secondary sector continues to exist within organizational cultures that reflect historical and societal structural biases and euro-centric epistemologies. Academic research, like the rest of academia, also continues to cling to the myth of meritocracy which limits our ability to leverage all available talent, engage in the most rigorous research, drive innovation and raise the bar on impact of outputs. The academic community in science & engineering needs to acquire and improve skills that can identify, understand & dismantle structural inequities in research cultures and many funding agencies now expect community members to provide evidence of these skills in applications. The research community must move towards cultures of care that attract, retain, support and promote the widest breadth of research talent and ideas. Dr Coe will show how understanding of our contexts & histories, using self-reflection, data, evidence and scholarship, can help us get comfortable with the uncomfortable topics of racism, sexism, homophobia, colonialism in science & engineering. She will challenge us to “flip the script” on the deeply embedded (and largely unsuccessful) “deficit” model for engaging historically excluded demographics towards an “asset” model and will identify tools and strategies that can help individuals and institutions take action towards creating sustainable cultures of inclusive excellence in research.

Bio: Dr. Imogen R. Coe is a professor of Chemistry and Biology and founding dean  (2012-2018) of the Faculty of Science at Toronto Metropolitan University . She is also an affiliate scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, where her research group studies drug transporters. In addition to being an academic scientist, Dr. Coe is one of Canada’s leading advocates for organizational change towards inclusive excellence in research, particularly in science and medicine. She runs a consulting company providing advice and training on inclusive excellence and has advised federal and national funding agencies on how to integrate equity, diversity and inclusion principles into diverse research cultures and is the inaugural NSERC Scholar-in-Residence. She has published widely on inclusive leadership, misogyny in science and the need for intentional policy around EDI-infused organizational culture. She is much in demand as a speaker and panelist, and has received numerous awards for her advocacy work, most recently, the 2022 Canadian Science Policy Centre Trailblazer (Policy for Science) Award.