Plenary-01 : John Jungck Prize
Carrie Diaz Eaton
Associate Professor of Digital and Computational Studies
Bates College, USA
I reflect on how my grounding as a mathematical biologist has helped me uniquely understand and address the challenges in interdisciplinary and inclusive STEM education, particularly with respect to its language and culture. The key to understanding systems biology and racism share the same intellectual undergirding as complex adaptive systems - an understanding of the structure of systems, how they are shaped over time by internal and external factors, and the levers that are effective for bringing about change. We also know that our (sub)disciplinary culture and its language can affect our ability to collaborate and learn in these “wicked problem” and interdisciplinary contexts. Our language can be used to foster understanding and unity, or it can be used to create siloes that work against collaborative research and education. I propose that the community of mathematical biologists is uniquely positioned to make a difference in creating both an interdisciplinary AND inclusive STEM education and explore research which examines our own discipline in this light.