[MARMAM] Letter to the SMM re. unpaid work

Eiren Jacobson eiren.jacobson at st-andrews.ac.uk
Wed Jul 1 04:40:51 PDT 2020

Dear Colleagues,

We have drafted a letter to the leadership of the Society for Marine Mammalogy asking them to help eliminate unpaid work from the field of marine mammal science.

The letter can be found here: https://bit.ly/3gjM0gd

And can be co-signed here: https://bit.ly/2YO4sHZ

Briefly, the pipeline of unpaid positions reinforces the existing racial and socioeconomic makeup of marine mammal scientists.  If the Society is committed to increasing diversity in marine mammal science, it will lead the way by asking members to compensate all workers appropriately and refusing to advertise unpaid positions.

We are aware that advertising unpaid positions is common practice on this listserv, and we encourage those seeking research support to consider how unpaid positions amplify existing barriers to participation and reinforce systemic discrimination.

Currently, the letter has nearly 200 co-signatories.  We invite further co-signatures from marine mammal scientists of any specialty, nationality, or career stage. We also welcome co-signatures from anyone who opted not to pursue a career in marine mammal science due to the prevalence of unpaid work and other systemic barriers to participation.


Eiren Jacobson, University of St Andrews

Chloe Malinka, Aarhus University

Margaret Siple, University of California, Santa Barbara

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