Tackling structural inequalities in geomorphology

Authors: Rebecca Lave*, Indiana University
Topics: Environmental Science, Physical Geography
Keywords: geomorphology, critical physical geography, environmental justice, STS
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 10
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Geomorphology is finally beginning to give more concerted attention to the structural inequalities that have shaped its research practices and culture since the days of Davis and Gilbert. The Earth and Planetary Surface Processes Specialty Group of AGU held a roundtable on environmental justice in October 2020 that was attended or viewed by more than 250 people. In the same month, leaders of the British Society of Geomorphologists published an editorial calling for a greater emphasis on equity, diversity and inclusivity. These initiatives are a promising start in rethinking and (hopefully) reconfiguring one of the whitest areas of the biophysical sciences. This talk lays out some of the primary structural inequalities in geomorphology, from colonial legacies to a pervasive culture of “white male swagger.” To respond to these inequalities, I suggest a set of changes to promote social justice within our field and in the world around it.

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