SheffieldR - Sheffield R Users Group: Package development for women and other under represented groups

Join us welcoming Emma Rand for a special talk on the RForwards project. After the talk we will have an Xmas social with mulled wine (available to purchase from the Red Deer) and mince pies.

Emma Rand is Lecturer (Teaching & Scholarship) in the Department of Biology at the University of York. She teaches data analysis and reproducibility for analysis pipelines predominantly to those who do not see themselves as programmers.

RForwards is an R Foundation task force that was originally set up in December 2015 to address the under-representation of women in the R community. An analysis of CRAN package maintainers estimated that fewer than 15% were women, and a useR! participant survey found that women were less likely than men to have experience contributing to or writing packages. In 2017 it was rebranded to accommodate other under-represented groups such as LGBTQI, minority ethnic groups, and people with disabilities. The task force is organised as a core team plus a number of sub-teams that focus on particular tasks. One of these is a Teaching Team covering methodology, materials and workshops designed for under-represented groups. In this talk I will describe a workshop particularly intended to increase the number and visibility of women, people of colour and LBGTQ+ individuals in the scientific coding community. Coding is a valuable skill in research and many degrees courses in the life sciences provide training in programming. These equip individuals to implement programming-based solutions to scientific problems but rarely to professionally document and disseminate their code.

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SheffieldR is an opportunity for anyone in Sheffield with an interest in R to meet up, listen to a couple of interesting presentations on R implementations and then network over a drink. The events are free and anyone, at whatever level of R skill, is welcome to attend. We rely on members of the Sheffield R community to speak at our meetups and try to offer a mix of "beginners" and "expert" level talks.