Early-career but not young? On the society’s upcoming name change

In case you have not already heard it, our society will soon receive a new name. In a couple of months we say goodbye to YSLR and embrace our new name, The Early-Career Social Learning Researchers, or ESLR.

Over the past weeks and months, our committee has been working on turning our semi-regular meetings in 2016 and 2017 into a more formally organised society. We drafted a constitution, developed our vision for the society, made decisions on our code of conduct, kicked-off plans for our society journal Cultured Scene, and finally started with the preparations for our upcoming workshop in June. One of the many topics was the society name, and whether we should keep ‘young’ in the name. At the time it appeared reasonable to stick with it, as we found it frequently in the names of awards, grants, workshops, and conferences that aimed at early-career researchers. Another reason to keep it was that we already started advertising our workshop under the YSLR name, and those four letters slowly started to be recognised by people in social media. Anti-discrimination is a core value of our society and therefore also an integral part of our constitution, which states:

§3 d. […] The Society is committed to the philosophy of equal opportunity and respectful treatment for all regardless of national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, gender, gender identity or expression, race, colour, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or any other reason not related to scientific merit. […]

We assumed this would be sufficient to express that we do not mean to discriminate, or for that matter accept any acts of discrimination, against early-career researchers, who might not describe themselves as young. However, the discussions we since had with you, our members, made us reconsider. We toyed around with many different ideas and finally agreed on The Association of Early-Career Social Learning Researchers. It combines our focus on scientists that just started their careers, or are close to having their own lab, as well as our research field: social learning and cultural evolution.

We are currently in the process of organising the name change. This includes changes to our website, URL, mailing list and email addresses. We will also have to change our names and pages on social media such as twitter and facebook. Furthermore, as mentioned above, we already started to advertise the workshop under the name YSLR. Therefore, the new name will be live right after our Summer Workshop in June.

Let me close with this: we did not mean to be excluding or discriminating. We are all early-career and we are all bound to make mistakes. What is important is to keep talking and learn from those mistakes. We hope that you approve of our roadmap and the planned changes. Keep in touch and send us your feedback and critique via mail, twitter, or on facebook.

About the author

Post-doctoral Fellow at UPenn