Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives

The Cognitive Science Society is committed to the inclusion of all scientists working in the cognitive sciences and seeks diversity in disciplinary expertise, gender, race and ethnicity, geographic location, sexual orientation, age, religion, and disability status. The Cognitive Science Society is committed to advancing equity, neurodiversity, and accessibility in all forms. The Cognitive Science Society is committed to taking steps against any type of harassment or intimidation related to identities and abilities. We are also committed to increasing the participation of diverse audiences at all levels of the Society, and we hold an obligation to proactively address inequalities including, but not limited to, the identities listed above. We welcome our members to get in touch if there are opportunities for the Society to do more.

Society diversity & inclusion initiatives:

Diversity & Inclusion Committee

This standing committee ensures that diversity and inclusion initiatives continue to be supported and updated across all aspects of the Society. Recent efforts include organizing and awarding conference hardship waivers, family grants, diversity and inclusion grants, as well as connecting with affinity groups for the annual conference (see below for details on these initiatives).

Outreach Coordinator position

In 2022, the Society hired its first Outreach Coordinator. This position was created to oversee efforts to make cognitive science more accessible to the public, with a particular focus on reaching underrepresented communities at the early undergraduate level.

Pay What You Can membership

In 2021, the Society instituted a Pay What You Can option, such that members can contribute as much or as little as they can for their annual fee. This model was adopted to make the benefits of the Society more broadly accessible.

Executive Editor Outreach Fund

Leadership at the Society’s journals spearheaded the formation of this new fund to be used for outreach activities aimed at under-represented groups. The fund has already been used to help support the hiring of the Outreach Coordinator, and other projects are underway.

Anti-racism statement

While the Society offers a separate statement addressing our stance on racism, we recognize the links and intersectionality in the individual experience of racism and other forms of discrimination.

CogSci Mind Challenge

The CogSci Mind Challenge is a video challenge that encourages cognitive scientists to address key questions within the field, but for an audience of non-experts, particularly high school and early college students.


The Society’s latest initiative offers financial support for the organization of events, activities or projects that will increase accessibility and inclusion of under-represented communities in Cognitive Science. This opportunity is open to all researchers (e.g., faculty member, postdoctoral researcher, graduate student) affiliated with a university or research institute.

Annual conference diversity & inclusion initiatives:

Accessibility and accommodations at CSS conferences

Alternative conference will have a hybrid component.

Code of Conduct

The Society is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience, outlined in our downloadable code of conduct.

Conference Hardship Waivers and Family Grants

The Society offers financial hardship and family care grants for our annual conference that can be used to help offset costs associated with accessing services and support.

Diversity & Inclusion Conference Awards

Up to ten prizes are awarded annually to promote participation in the conference for graduate students who bring diversity to the society, in particular under-represented racial/ethnic groups and citizens of under-represented and economically disadvantaged countries who are presenting at the conference.

Diversity & Social Inequality Awards

Awarded annually to the best work at our annual conference that tackles issues of diversity and social inequality. Eligible work can include studies of racism, sexism, and other forms of inequality, or more generally tackle the issue of psychological and behavioral diversity in cognitive science. The prize is open to researchers at any level (student, post-doctoral fellow, research scientist, faculty) from any nationality.

Cognitive Science Affinity Groups

The Society encourages affinity groups to build community at our conferences and we encourage proposals for affinity groups to enhance community around ableism, neurodivergence and other related topics for our members.

Cognitive Science Mentoring Program

Individuals can sign up to be a mentor or mentee to discuss a range of topics, including navigating Cognitive Science with a minoritized status, career advancement within specific scientific communities, and managing work/life balance. Mentoring sessions occur during the annual conference.

Disciplinary Diversity and Integration Award in Cognitive Science

Awarded annually to the best cognitive science research in disciplines that have been traditionally under-represented at our annual conferences and journals.  Eligible submissions include novel interdisciplinary perspectives and integrative approaches to understanding the human mind.

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