Dylan Beard stood outside the House of Commons in Westminster wearing a blue suit. Dylan was visiting to champion diversity in polar science.
A researcher has travelled to Parliament to discuss improving representation in polar sciences.
Dylan Beard, who is in his final year of a PhD at the University of Plymouth, attended the event at Westminster Palace, at the invitation of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Polar Regions.
Smiling Dylan Beard stood in front of a banner that read 'Pride in Polar Research' with an illustration of a rainbow pengiun.
Official House of Commons sign at diversity in polar sciences event attended by Dylan Beard.
Dylan Beard and colleague stood on Westminster Bridge as part of Polar Pride event.
Polar science is a pivotal tool in monitoring changes to the polar regions in order to protect their fragile ecosystems and therefore protect the planet as a whole. Despite estimates that 5% of the UK population are LGBT+, those who identify as LGBT+ only make up 2% of the polar science field. People with disabilities, global ethnic majority (GEM) and women are also underrepresented. To help improve representation, a Diversity in Polar Science Initiative was created by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Polar Regions Department.
Representatives from the FCDO, along with APPG members, MPs, Lords, and organisations including the British Antarctic Survey and Royal Geographical Society, attended the event to celebrate diversity and discuss initiatives for improvement. 
As a passionate advocate for equality in geoscience research, in addition to being on the committee of the UK Polar Network, Dylan hopes the event will continue conversations and start to see positive change. 

Science is about exploration and discovery, but you can’t do that successfully if you’re constantly concerned about whether you might belong.

It’s difficult too when you don’t see others like you in the same field, but that’s where our work comes in. Not only are we creating cultures that say it’s ok to be who you are, but by doing so we’re increasing the diversity of people who get involved in polar science.
Initiatives like Diversity in Polar Science and Polar Pride Day are excellent for visibility, and I look forward to championing the work in Plymouth and beyond.

Dylan BeardDylan Beard
PhD candidate in the Faculty of Science and Engineering

From university to the South Pole with Henry Evans