June 2020 Special President’s Address

Dear CSE Colleagues,

Carissa Gilman, CSE President

As I write this from my home in downtown Atlanta, the sounds of hovering helicopters and sirens have started up for the evening as people gather for the sixth consecutive day of protests against police brutality and systemic racism. Around the nation, citizens demand justice and an end to the egregious abuses of power that time after time have ended in senseless and appalling losses of life. Like many of you, I have trouble wrapping my head around the events of the last few months and even more trouble envisioning how we will all come together to solve the challenges that loom before us. But now is not the time to shrink away from the seemingly insurmountable. We must face it with open eyes, hands, and hearts and a clear resolve to address what we must. The alternative is unthinkable.

Words seems inadequate at times like these, but silence is not an option. As an organization, we recognize that it is our turn to listen and reflect on what we are doing to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion and to ask ourselves hard questions about why we are not doing more and what else we could and should be doing.

I am grateful to our Past President Patty Baskin for leading CSE’s work in becoming a founding member of The Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC), which seeks to discuss and address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion within our industry. Last year the Board also ratified a code of conduct affirming our commitment to equal opportunities and treatment for all regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, religion, age, appearance, or political affiliation, as well as our commitment to maintaining an environment free of harassment, discrimination, and hostility. But the gap is wide, and as an organization, there is much more we can do to acknowledge and address racism and inequality.

To that end, the CSE Board is organizing a Task Force to take a hard look at what resources, programs, and activities we have in this space and what more we need to be doing. We want to get our members engaged in this, so I hope to hear from you if wish to be involved in this vital effort. Please contact me at carissa.gilman@cancer.org if you are interested in serving on the Task Force or wish to suggest steps that CSE should be taking to address this issue.

We are a global community dedicated to fostering networking, education, discussion, and exchange. I hope you will join me in this most vital of conversations.

With best wishes,

Carissa A. Gilman
President, CSE