Science and Society



Research Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA

AGU embraces the global community and welcomes diverse leaders from around the world, representing various identities, voices, and perspectives. List any identities, voices, and perspectives you would bring, including but not limited to nationality, regional representations, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and any other identity you feel comfortable sharing.

I am an immigrant, woman of color, who moved from India to the United States 8 years ago. My journey through graduate school and beyond, has been an education in the varied cultural and regional perspectives on environmental issues, and the role of English language in the sciences. As an immigrant on a visa that can be taken away with little notice, I have first-hand experience on how day-to-day stressors and uncertainties can impede one’s ability to invest in a network, career or even family. This has led me to reflect deeply on the importance of justice work in scientific communities. As I reap the privileges of an advanced degree from a U.S. university, an opportunity that was not easily accessible, I have a deep sense of responsibility to help improve the access and opportunities in sciences for underserved groups. Finally, I also identify as an interdisciplinary female social scientist working in a largely disciplinary, physical sciences, and male-dominated professional society (according to AGU’s 2020 membership survey). As AGU aims to encourage interdisciplinary research, the process would also entail gender dynamics that need to be carefully understood and managed. I am excited to bring in these multiple perspectives to AGU.

Volunteer experience that relates to this position:

I am the Social & Behavioral Sciences Track lead for AGU’s Science and Society section (since 2020), with a mission to bring in social sciences and related disciplines into AGU. I also co-lead a research–practice community that facilitates collaborations and exchange of ideas between scientists and practitioners working on the “science of actionable knowledge.” I was a contributing author for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) and am currently a chapter author for the U.S. National Climate Assessment.


This leadership position is a liaison role; it is one that aims to catalyze community and build AGU as envisioned by the strategic plan. How will you engage with members of your section to advance AGU’s strategic plan? How will you facilitate engagement with other sections and people outside AGU to support our mission?

One of the most exciting aspects of AGU is that both my research and volunteer work focus on improving the actionability of science, and are directly related to AGU’s goal of moving science from usable to used. Many social sciences fields such as coproduction of knowledge, transdisciplinary research, participatory research, etc. offer examples of successful scientist-stakeholder engagements that can make science more usable and impactful. I would like to organize Fall Meeting sessions and other networking events that highlight these perspectives, with an aim to elevate AGU as a home for social sciences work. I am hoping to help develop an annual webinar series to invite social and behavioral scientists & practitioners (including from societies such as the American Meteorological Society (AMS) & American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)) to share ideas on partnerships with AGU. Promoting interdisciplinarity is another priority for AGU, and I wish to organize workshops or sessions on promoting effective interdisciplinary collaborations across AGU sections and beyond. 

AGU’s goal to promote an inclusive scientific culture is one that I am deeply passionate about. Last year I coordinated a note-taking exercise across several AGU sections, where session conveners were encouraged to take notes on the various ways that presenters engaged in in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) issues. I would like to continue this exercise to map out the JEDI related work AGU members are doing now and identify areas of improvement. I will also continue to engage in efforts to improve representation and elevate diverse voices in our section and make AGU a welcoming group for underrepresented groups.

Section affiliations:

Global Environmental Change; Science and Society