In 2017, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) created the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (STEMM) Equity Achievement (SEA) Change Project. This project seeks to support postsecondary institutions in creating systemic, structural change regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion. Institutions engaged in SEA Change commit to the SEA Change Principles, which can be found here: https://seachange.aaas.org/principles/. Institutions interested in undergoing an awards process undergo a self-assessment to identify unnecessary, structural challenges and barriers for:
To complete the awards process, institutions must create a 5-year plan with measurable outcomes to address areas in which they wish to improve.
In 2017, AAAS began to work with STEMM professional societies to develop SEA Change Departmental awards. These awards are similar to the institutional awards, but are focused on the discipline/department. Many important decisions are made at the departmental level, which is often noted as the locus for change.
The Physics and Astronomy Disciplinary Committee is comprised of representatives and staff from the American Institute of Physics (AIP), AAPT, American Astronomical Society (AAS), American Physical Society (APS), AVS (Science and Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing), National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP), National Society of Hispanic Physicists (NSHP), the Physics and Astronomy Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research, and OSA (The Optical Society). Since its inception, the Physics and Astronomy Disciplinary Committee has:
We are currently in the midst of implementing the pilot project. The goals of the pilot include testing the departmental assessment and award structures, refining the process, and gauging overall sustainability and interest from the broad physics and astronomy community.
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