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Moving towards More Diverse and Welcoming Conference Spaces: Data-Driven Perspectives from Biology Education Research Scholars.


Academic conferences are integral to the dissemination of novel research findings and discussion of pioneering ideas across all postsecondary disciplines. For some participants, these environments are spaces to develop new collaborations, research projects, and social bonds; however, for others, conferences can be a place of marginalization and outright hostility. To assess how diverse individuals experience conference spaces, we interpreted results from a conference climate survey filled out by 198 of 482 registrants of the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER) West 2021 conference. Analysis of the survey data was conducted by six biology education researchers, who in addition to raising conference participant voices, provide insights, and next steps whose implementation can promote greater participant equity, representation, and engagement in future science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education conferences specifically and potentially all academic conference spaces more broadly.

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