Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences, Space Physics—Alexa Halford, Angeline G. Burrell, Endawoke Yizengaw, Volker Bothmer, Brett A. Carter, John Raymond, Astrid Maute, Marilia Samara, Naomi Maruyama
The Fellows honor is considered the highest honor AGU can bestow. Because of this, we believe it is paramount that the evaluation criteria reflect the values of our community. The vast majority of nomination packages we receive undeniably deserve high praise for the nominee’s work and commitment to the AGU community. However, in the past, some very important values have been overlooked: the impact of service and sustained support activities, such as data curation, which enables countless others to lead breakthroughs and discovery or perform cross-disciplinary work as well as ignoring the breakthroughs and contributions made by individuals from underrepresented groups and those with less political power. This includes women (~12% of current SPA fellows) and racial/ethnic minorities (< 12% of current SPA fellows), among others. These biases against marginalized groups and institutions can be mitigated by avoiding heavy-weighting metrics such as h-index and past awards. Progress has been made in recent years thanks to the efforts of the Nominating Task Force and this committee and AGU’s efforts to acknowledge and mitigate implicit biases. However, we must continue to be vigilant and work towards ensuring we recognize all those who are deserving of becoming an AGU fellow. We encourage the AGU community, Union section, and AGU leadership to reflect on this as we continue to consider biases within our fields and work toward ensuring that colleagues who have been forgotten because of the “invisible” work they do are honored according to their contributions.