On 27th January 2022, the IPMB2022 headline speakers and session chairs were advertised in a Twitter post by IPMB conference organisers. When members of the plant science community voiced disappointment and concern that the selection had failed to achieve genuine diversity, equity and inclusion, they received inappropriate and disrespectful responses.
Members of the ASPS community witnessed this occurring and were rightfully angered, shocked and disappointed. It would have been ideal for ASPS to be able to communicate a public response to what happened immediately and we apologise that it has taken us some time. ASPS condemns bullying, disrespectful and discriminatory behaviour and we consider it to be important that ASPS voices our concerns and publicly addresses the concerns of the community. We thank the members of the plant science community who spoke out on this issue. We are glad that IPMB conference organisers have now released their apology letter with the first steps on how they plan to address the issues raised.
It should never be the responsibility of under-represented groups to address historic and continuing discriminatory barriers to their own inclusion, and we want to use this opportunity to improve our performance in this area.
ASPS is committed to making positive change for a future where diversity, equity and inclusivity is always a priority and inappropriate behavior is not tolerated. For the past week, ASPS has been actively working with the IPMB board, the ASPB and The Global Plant Council to address the issues raised surrounding IPMB2022 and will continue to do so. We welcome input from our members.