At Berkeley Lab, our open science environment is designed to support and encourage the development of innovative ideas from our researchers, students, and collaborators. Ideas can come from anywhere; their development and realization arise from teams of people working together in an environment of support.
Recently we have received some questions internally, based on social media activity, about how we create and maintain an environment that is safe for developing ideas, and how contributions are appropriately recognized. It’s important to acknowledge that individuals at Berkeley Lab, including students and user facility users, may come to us with a variety of expectations, and each will leave with their own perceptions about their experiences here. As career research staff and leadership, each of us should think about our role as mentors and in guiding our staff in their professional careers. This can include encouraging career development, having frequent discussions about individual roles within a collaborative environment, listening and giving feedback, and helping people understand and manage their professional growth. We recognize that promoting scientific discussion within a safe and inclusive environment is the best means to ensure that all contributions to scientific discovery are recognized and valued, and that this process is part of the scientific education that we provide for development of students and mentors alike.
Effective mentorship is one of the core building blocks of science and discovery at the Lab. We are committed to encouraging and supporting students and early career researchers by providing guidance, coaching, and tools to help individuals develop their careers, while recognizing the critical contributions both students and mentors make to the realization of ideas.
We have an extremely talented group of people at the Lab, who are here, at least in part, because of their dedication to our mission of science in the public service, and because they value the opportunity to work in multidisciplinary teams on issues of national importance. Some of our greatest innovations have come from researchers working in teams to advance discovery through incremental breakthroughs that owe success to many contributors, and team science is a hallmark of Berkeley Lab.
Mentoring is particularly important today as we build a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accountability as part of our IDEA effort launched this year. Each one of us carries a special responsibility for the stewardship of our Lab and its people. I invite you to take a moment to consider how you and your teams are incorporating the elements of IDEA into our day-to-day work, and to use the resources available at our Ideas in Action website.
Chief Research Officer