The future viability of the geosciences is challenged, since as a community we continue to lack demographic diversity representative of the wider population. Fundamentally, dominant cultural, historical, and socioeconomic factors contribute to the lack of diversity and those factors typically change slowly over generations. Proposals for more immediate changes have had some effect but have not led to large-scale changes in the demographics of the geosciences. In this commentary, we discuss the concept of intergroup emotions and recommend its use as a strategy for improving diversity and inclusion within the geosciences. Intergroup emotions are emotions that arise as a result of an individual’s identification with one or more social groups, which makes them particularly pertinent in the context of diversity and inclusion. While we call on the geoscience community to conduct discipline-based research in collaboration with educational and social psychologists, we argue that there is sufficient evidence to also begin implementing interventions in classrooms, laboratories, and in the field. We believe strategies based on intergroup emotions will make significant improvements in diversity and inclusion within the geosciences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Earth and Planetary Sciences