What is Diversity Science?

Diversity science is a field of investigation that uses rigorous empirical methods to examine issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It seeks to address specific, measurable, and answerable questions. Diversity science is an interdisciplinary field that tries to understand what can be done to reduce group-based discrimination, promote the inclusion of members of marginalized groups, and create a society where members of all groups can thrive.

Over the last few years, there has been a growing consensus that science can, and should, be used to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (Plaut, 2010; Moss-Racusin et al., 2014; Valentine & Collins, 2015). Given the widespread effects of discrimination and lack of inclusion in the criminal justice system, education, health care, the environment, and employment, lasting solutions can only be found if scholars from various fields collaborate and conduct interdisciplinary research. Their complementary expertise and methodological training are necessary to address one of the biggest challenges of our society in the 21st century.

Diversity science examines the lack of inclusion of numerous groups in our society. These groups are defined by dimensions such as gender identity, ethnic/racial identity, religious identity, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, age, socio-economic status, being a first-generation college student or not, political affiliation, weight, appearance, and physical and mental health.

Additional Resources

Typical research questions studied by diversity science researchers

Scientific publications by top diversity scientists across the world

Diversity science research conducted at UW–Madison