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Diversity and inclusion have been high on the UvA's agenda for some years and activities have been organised in many different places. But why bother about diversity? The BètaBreak in collaboration with the UvA Diversity team is hosting a discussion panel on this topic. Will not the smartest people end up in science or at the top anyways? Or do we still need to critically assess our culture of inclusion/exclusion and review our policies?

Detail Summary
Date 5 February 2020
Time 12:00 -13:00

Missing or leaving out on groups of people because of their gender, disabilities, background, sexual orientation or otherwise does not only do injustice and harm to these groups, it also hinders the creativity and potential impact of our joint work in education and research. Evidence shows that science and teamwork benefit from greater diversity and inclusion. Also, discrimination and stereotyped thinking do not only have a cultural cause, but a biological cause as well. It is our brains that divide people into groups and link certain characteristics to it. 

We have invited 3 scientists from widely varying backgrounds to talk to us about this intricate, complicated and important topic. Bring your lunch and join us on 5 February at 12:00 in the Central Hall at Science Park!  


  • Professor Frank van Overwalle. Free University Brussels, specialised in social neuroscience and social psychology. 
  • Dr. Meir Shemla. Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, Erasmus University Rotterdam. "His work focuses on the impact of team composition on team performance, and he has particular interest in how diversity in teams can be leveraged to increase innovation and performance. In his work he also explores the consequences of diversity policies on organizational performance and talent acquisition. Other research topics he is exploring include the role of followers in successful leadership and the effect of emotions in teams."
  • Dr. Patricia Schor. Radboud University Nijmegen & Amsterdam University College. "I am a research fellow at the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies of Radboud University, focusing on the Critical Philosophy of Race. I am also a lecturer at Amsterdam University College, teaching Race, Class and Gender Intersectionality. In my publications I deal with postcolonial African literature, Brazilian postcolonialities and gendered anti-blackness in Europe. Recently I have been exploring the Portuguese and Dutch biopolitical colonial regimes, racism and colonial heritages across the Atlantic. I am a member of the board and peer reviewer of journals on Gender, Feminism and Sexualities, Comparative Literature, and Social and Political Sciences. Previously I have worked at Oxfam Netherlands on projects in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea Bissau, primordially on conflict resources and political rights."

This BetaBreak is part of the event Faces of Science Park: Diversity and Inclusion in Science

About the Beta Break

Proponents and opponents discuss a current topic within the natural sciences during the monthly Beta Break. The Beta Break is an initiative of beta students at the UvA, supported by the Faculty of Science, Mathematics and Computer Science. The discussions take place in the central hall of Science Park 904 and are freely accessible to everyone. The working language is English.