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NIMH Director’s Statement on Diversity

Institute Update

The director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, recently announced his commitment to changing the culture and climate of biomedical research to create an inclusive and diverse workforce. To that end, Dr. Collins has pledged to only accept speaking invitations at meetings and conferences if the organizers have taken diversity and inclusiveness seriously in selecting the speakers and developing the agenda.

I immediately stood by this pledge and have put it into action. When I receive invitations to attend and present at events, I expect and enforce an even and inclusive playing field for scientists of all backgrounds. I carefully review each opportunity, share my commitment with meeting organizers, and decline to participate if inclusivity is not evident from the agenda.

Diversity is key to excellent science. It fosters innovation and discovery, improves the quality of research, and increases the likelihood that research outcomes will benefit all of us. I encourage scientific leaders across the biomedical enterprise to play a role in supporting all of the bright and talented minds engaged in research.

Joshua A. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.
Director of NIMH