About DiveRSE

DiveRSE (Diverse RSE) is a series of talks and related activities including discussion and panel sessions designed to support and raise awareness of EDI challenges and successes within the research software community.

DiveRSE: An Introduction

Supporting Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) within the Research Software Engineering community

The role title “Research Software Engineer” (RSE) was first used only around 10 years ago to describe individuals working in a research environment but focusing on building software. The Research Software Engineering movement started in the UK but has since spread around the world with international associations appearing in a number of countries.

Despite things slowly changing and new international groups starting up in a number of regions, the initial focus for RSE has been largely based in Europe and the US. Of course, researchers and others building software to support research-related processes and tasks exist across the world, even without the RSE title, and have done so for many decades.

There can be a perception that the software development community lacks diversity. This may not be entirely unfounded but RSE is a little different. At present, most RSEs come from a research background. Results from the initial runs of the international research software survey show us that RSEs don’t come only from areas such as Computer Science where software development is a key element, but from a much wider range of different research domains. This is an important aspect in developing a diverse community. At the same time, it is true that there are still challenges around various aspects of EDI.

As an open, friendly and welcoming community, there is enthusiasm for discussion about EDI challenges and successes. There have already been various examples within the community of events and related activties providing opportunities for discussing and understanding aspects of EDI.

Perhaps the most significant of these so far is the April 2022 workshop “Vive la différence - research software engineers” being hosted at the Lorentz Centre in The Netherlands.

To link in with this 4-day in-person workshop and a series of associated online sessions for participants who are unable to attend in person, DiveRSE is being set up to bring some of the talks and discussions to a wider audience within the RSE community. We hope that DiveRSE can build on the outputs of the workshop and provide a series of useful, interesting and valuable talks, discussions and panel sessions to inform and grow awareness within the RSE community.