IASIS: Diversity

9 December 2016, 5.00 PM - 9 December 2016, 8.00 PM

Robert Bickers, Tracy Brunnock, Henry Daniel, Ursula King, Julia O'Connell-Davidson and Sue Porter

4.10 and Foyer, Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, 35 Berkeley Square BS8 1JA

The IAS is pleased to announce it will be hosting its Winter IASIS on Friday 9 December from 5pm at the Graduate School of Education on theme of Diversity. This is an opportunity for staff and students to come and mark the end of term by enjoying drinks, nibbles and conversation in a convivial atmosphere. We hope to host an aptly inclusive selection of provocations on the subject of Diversity, followed by general discursive mingling.

Those who have agreed to offer provocations include Robert Bickers (Professor of History), Tracy Brunnock (Equality and Diversity Manager), Henry Daniel (Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor in Drama), Ursula King (Professor of Theology & Religious Studies) Julia O'Connell Davidson (Professor in Social Research) and Sue Porter (Research Fellow in Policy Studies).

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Diversity is one of the cornerstones of our new 2016 University Vision and Strategy.

For students, we are committed to contextual offers and the new Bristol Scholars Programme "focused on making the benefits of a Bristol education more accessible to high-potential students in the local community" - a community that shows disturbing levels of inequality with respect to university attendance across the city (from 5% to 83% in different areas), a city where thousands of children live in poverty. In addition, a scholarship programme will be developed in partnership with global alumni "to further increase the flow of top-class international students to the University" and efforts are also being made to ensure curricula are "inclusive in scope and delivery".

On the staff side, the University has pledged to increase the number of female and BME staff in leadership roles, to eliminate the gender pay gap within the professoriate and to ensure gender diversity on interview panels. The University is a signatory to the Athena Swan charter and holds a Bronze Award and its workforce boasts more than 90 different nationalities. The distribution of its staff in terms of age, disability, gender, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation can be found in its annual report on Equality and Diversity.

In addition to its everyday practices as an educational institution and employer, the University is home to research on and/or related to Diversity in all sorts of areas - from anthropology to zoology, by way of education, engineering, legal studies, medicine, palaeobiology, policy studies, and theology. Academic Diversity could also refer to enlightened hiring practices aimed at ensuring that a breadth of talent and experience can be drawn upon to solve challenging research problems. Such is the approach of the Bristol Centre for Complexity Sciences

However, the purpose of an IASIS is not to be prescriptive. Whatever your take on the theme - from biodiversity to digital diversity, from diversity in the classroom to Diversity the dance troupe - all are welcome, so do come along, listen and share. We hope to hear as many and varied perspectives as possible. 

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