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Physics as an Inclusive Community

Scientific research, education, and diversity of inquiry can only flourish if all participants are fully supported to contribute, realize their potential, and express themselves freely. The Department of Physics recognizes that opportunities for full participation have not been granted universally, and that barriers to participation exist today in the discipline of physics, including within our Department. Motivated by scientific excellence, fairness, and respect, we must create an inclusive, equitable, and welcoming environment that fosters a sense of belonging in the Department and University community. 

All members of the Department of Physics, including faculty, staff, and students, are expected to create and maintain a kind and welcoming working and learning community. This responsibility is especially acute for those in any position of power, from professors to teaching assistants to study group leaders, who must lead by example and be mindful of unequal dynamics that can arise from hierarchy or social privilege. Discussions, conflict, and feedback should be conducted in a respectful way. It is everyone’s responsibility to respect the rights of freedom of expression, academic freedom and freedom of research, and provide an environment free from prohibited discrimination and harassment, consistent with University of Toronto policies. 

We recognize the challenges faced by Indigenous Persons, Racialized Persons, Women, Persons with Disabilities invisible or apparent, Members of the 2SLGBTQ+ Community, and other equity-deserving groups in the Department. We must strive to improve accessibility, well-being, and mental health support. We aim to develop new ways to support, engage with, and learn from Indigenous Peoples in our research, learning, and teaching. We commit to identifying and correcting biases and systemic inequities in our departmental activities and structures, including those which reflect or have their basis in harmful colonial ideologies, and to improve recruitment and retention of members of underrepresented groups. 

We commit to an ongoing conversation that includes all voices. We invite everyone to contribute to that dialogue, and share with us their lived experience in this Department.*

May 2022

* IDEA committee website:
Feel free to email the whole committee or any of its individual members to bring something to our attention.

Links to relevant policies: