Kanwisher Lab

Commitment to Diversity

I want my lab to be a place where people of any gender, race, ethnicity, or background can feel welcome and thrive. This is important to me because I love science and want everyone to have the opportunity to share in the excitement of doing research. It is also important to me because new ideas are the engine of science, and new ideas are most likely to be generated by a group of people with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, voices, interests, and experiences. The greater the diversity of voices in the lab, the richer and more fun will be the interactions, discussions, and the science that we share.

Our lab attempts to accomplish this goal by participation in outreach, recruitment, and mentorship of trainees from underrepresented backgrounds. I try to make science accessible to anyone through frequent lectures to lay audiences, by putting talks on my personal web site nancysbraintalks, and through publicly accessible science in my TED talk and my undergraduate course The Human Brain which will soon appear on MIT’s Open Course Ware. I lecture at minority-serving institutions and our lab hosts participants in the MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP) as well as students in the BCS Post-Baccalaureate Program. Our lab has a strong track record of training women scientists (several of whom had children during their time in the lab). We have a broad representation of people from different countries, socioeconomic backgrounds, and sexual orientations, and we are actively working to increase the diversity of the racial and ethnic membership in the lab.

Pursuing these goals is a work in progress. We welcome inquiries, constructive criticism, and suggestions. These can be sent directly to me, or to our lab’s representatives for the BCS Community of Practice, Heather Kosakowski (hlk@mit.edu) and Dana Boebinger (dlboe@mit.edu).