Anya M. Reading




Professor Doctor, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

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.

As a pioneer of data collection in remote and challenging environments and innovative approaches to computational analysis, I became the first female Professor of Geophysics in Australia. In ongoing efforts to learn from the experiences of others, especially those for whom much greater barriers exist, it is clear that scientific communities worldwide need to improve the culture in which research is carried out. Quite simply, we must all work proactively for social inclusion and diversity in our institutes and organizations, as it would be wrong not to do so.  We must carry out this work in such a way that individuals who carry a torch for under-represented groups are well-supported by, and rewarded by, the organizations that will derive lasting benefit, and in ways that enable early career community members to grow and flourish. Geoscience will gain in societal importance as global change impacts an increasing number of nations in profound ways, and it is vital that we maintain the capability for discovery and generation of science-informed solutions, and nurture the next generation of scientific community members and ambassadors.

Volunteer experience that relates to this position:

Reading is committed to improving geophysical data sets with open-access and has served, for example, as the Director of the National Facilities for Earth Sounding and on Virtual Laboratory initiatives for Australia. In policy development and international coordination, she has contributed through avenues such as the Australian Academy of Science Decadal Planning, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, and as a national delegate to the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth’s Interior.


As one of the elected leaders of your section, how will you partner with your president and president-elect to communicate with and engage your members to help implement AGU’s strategic plan including its mission and vision?

As an elected leader of the Seismology section of the American Geophysical Union, I would partner with section leaders and representatives, and aim to engage section members, with emphasis on the following:

Actions to promote inclusion and diversity in scientific endeavours, in particular embracing central AGU initiatives, and those more specific to the seismology section, to be a good environment for First Nations and other under-represented groups. Central to such initiatives would be the concept that improving research culture is the responsibility of all community members, especially those from well-represented groups. Through these actions, the AGU strategic goal to “Promote and exemplify an inclusive scientific culture” would be progressed.

Instrumentation and field deployment success, including the pipeline to data centres. Many data collection efforts are driven by small groups, and technical experience could be shared to assist those who don’t have full-time support in their groups. Through these actions, the AGU strategic goal to “Catalyze discovery and solutions to scientific and social challenges” would be progressed.

Connect young researchers, and those wishing to update skill-sets, to learning networks. While this connects strongly to the AGU strategic goal to “Catalyze discovery . . .” there is a defined intent to extend learning opportunities in the spirit of promoting open science.

Promotion of good research culture: e.g., constructive peer-review, grant application review. In so doing, provide guidance as to how respectful communication is a key aspect of scientific competency, connecting with the AGU strategic goal to “exemplify an inclusive scientific culture.”

Section affiliations:

Cryosphere Sciences; Earth and Space Science Informatics; Global Environmental Change; Mineral and Rock Physics; Near Surface Geophysics; Nonlinear Geophysics; Seismology; Tectonophysics