Mission Statement

The mission of the International Society for Artificial Life’s DEI committee is to improve the diversity, equity, and inclusion of the ISAL community. While studying “life as it could be”, we must not ignore “life as it is” and this committee’s goal is to consider the Artificial Life community as it could be and as it currently is. Our vision is that ISAL becomes a community known as a safe haven for everyone, especially people who are underrepresented and discriminated against in the many larger fields that artificial life combines. We believe that achieving this vision requires a focus on inclusion, retention, and access to decision-making committees by members of underrepresented communities. Through this focus, we can ensure that “life as it could be” is achieved fully for all current and future members of our community.

Community DEI Form

The International Society for Artificial Life has a committee dedicated to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. If you have a comment, concern, question or complaint that you would like the DEI committee to address/know, we would really like to hear from you. You are able to remain anonymous if you prefer and we value the information that you provide in either case. The information you submit goes to the Chair and Vice Chair of the DEI committee (see Members section below). They may share your comment/concern/question with others if necessary to address it but will not share your personal information without your permission.

Form link: https://forms.gle/36YGa2iCPYzRBgT2A

The following are examples of specific concerns that would be appropriate to report through this form:

  • Doxxing: making public, without explicit permission, sensitive information (physical or email address, phone numbers, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, and other personal information individuals may not want publicly known)
  • Harassment of any kind, for example insults; derogatory, degrading or lewd comments; improper gestures; bullying; threats; violence; shouting or preventing others from talking during meetings or conferences
  • Discriminatory behavior or practices, including discriminatory comments during meetings, conference discussions and talks, or in papers and paper reviews; traditions or processes that exclude part of the community based on identity or resources
  • General concerns about the lack of diversity of, or accessibility to the ALife community and its various decision boards
  • Accessibility concerns regarding the physical locations of the ALife conference or the websites associated with the ALife community
  • Encouraging others to violate the code of conduct or to engage in the behaviors described above

Members

Anya E. Vostinar (Chair)

Acacia Ackles (Vice Chair)

Dennis Wilson (Secretary)

Lana Sinapayen (Conference Review Process Representative)

Luis Zaman

Tomonori Hasegawa

Pranjal Dhole (ERA Representative)

Thomas Chen

Active Projects

ISAL Code of Conduct (Draft)

ISAL Community Survey (Survey) (Results memo in development)

ALIFE Review Processes DEI Memo (In development)

Contributing

The membership of the DEI committee is open to any and all that would like to help out with current projects or start new projects. Please contact one of the elected members or fill out the Community DEI form to join!

Call for Participation

The DEI committee is hoping to add to our members so that we can tackle all of the many projects that would benefit the ISAL community. We are aiming for a small time commitment structure, so if you are interested in helping but worried about the time commitment, please read on.

Commitment

The full committee meets once every two months and communicates via Slack in-between meetings. Going forward, we are planning to focus on researching and writing memos of value to the ISAL Board of Directors and ISAL community. We are expecting two people to work together on each memo before presenting it to the rest of the committee, the board, and posting publicly for the larger community. Members can work on as many or as few memos as they wish, therefore keeping the minimum commitment small.

Memo Topics

There are several memos that we have already identified as important for the community and so if you are excited about one of these topics, we would love for you to get involved:

  • ALIFE review processes from a DEI perspective
  • Guidelines on forming committees from a DEI perspective
  • Advice for ALIFE conference organizers on evaluating social activities from a DEI perspective
  • ISAL awards processes from a DEI perspective
  • Plans for a DEI fund to support initiatives requiring money

We would also love suggestions on other topics that you think would be beneficial to include in this list.