I had a little bit of a rough women in science day Thursday. I turned to Twitter for some support:

It turns out quite a few people, and not just people who identify as women, do want to chat about being faculty at PUIs. So I created PUIScienceSlack.

Edit March 12: Thanks to our new members for noticing our invite link had expired. I’ve regenerated an invite link that does not expire.

Who is it for: Anyone teaching science at a primarily undergraduate institution. I’ve left science broadly defined – social scientists and applied sciences welcome. If you would call yourself scientist, please, come aboard!

I’ve also left “PUI” slightly nebulously defined. Different organizations define this differently, often capping the ratio of graduate students to undergraduate students at something like 1:10. I don’t feel as strictly – some R2s straddle that boundary, and some departments at more research-intensive institutions don’t have well-supported graduate programs and mostly work with undergrads. If you feel like you belong in this group, you probably do.

Edit: I think it would be fine if trainees who want to have PUI jobs in the sciences joined, too! The types of discussions we have might really benefit you!

What is it for: Discussions of teaching and research in the sciences. To start, I made several public channels, #women (since that’s what prompted this), #grants, #general, #research, and #quantitativeskills. These are public – they can be viewed by anyone who clicks the link. There is also one private channel, #confidential, that members who want to discuss a sensitive issue can request to join. Direct messages are private between members. This is a free-tier plan, which means messages over the 10k line get purged in send order.

A note on “private”: private refers to the fact that you need a log-in to access this info. Like most digital communication, this information can be requisitioned in a court case.

Some of us are starting to work on CAREER proposals – perhaps this can be a jumping off point for writing groups. Many of us are solving the same challenges about curricula – let’s solve them together. At many institutions, there is a unique isolation. You might be the only person who works on any topic even remotely related to yours. But maybe we can all make some new friends! Or maybe this is all a big bust and goes no where. No big deal. Slack is pretty low-stakes;)

Other info: My lab’s code of conduct applies to this space. I consider that code of conduct expansive – if you are afraid to participate in the space because of prior harassment from another member, please get in touch.

Addition, 2/10/2020 on rules: We took two votes last week. Here are the results:

  • Real names: Unless you get in touch and have an exceptional circumstance, please use your real name and sign up with an email that can be verified as belonging to you
  • Confidential: Conversations on the Slack channel should not be shared outside the Slack channel without explicit permission from those involved.

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