Coming soon: Values for the Coop Community

2 minute read

Written by: The Coop Team - Fred Hutch Bioinformatics & Data Science Cooperative

Our draft of community values is now available here!

The Coop team would like to announce a new project for our community, led by Lauren Wolfe: development of the Coop’s community values. Recent transitions for the Coop and conversations public health and social justice in the United States have promted us to take a step back and consider why we do what we do–in other words, clarifying our values.

Why develop community values?

The process of defining community values seeks to frame what we do and why we do it. The Coop was born as a central resource to make data-intensive research accessible to everyone at Fred Hutch. As a cooperative, the Coop was created by and for the Fred Hutch community. Developing and formalizing a set of community values will provide a strong scaffolding to our entire program. As our current news cycle can attest, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and begin reacting to specific, issue-based problems. We believe that a set of community values will help to keep our work focused on our larger mission: training and building community to accelerate data-intensive biomedical research. Community values are a practical reality of working effectively with a diverse community and a powerful strategy to tackling systemic issues.

How are we creating community values?

There are some specific considerations we want to keep in mind as we work towards formalizing our values as a community.

  • The emphasis of community values should always be a shared responsibility to each other. We, as individuals, prosper when our policies reflect that we are all in this together.

  • Working for the common good is not charity and should not be framed as such! We need to be careful to avoid a narrative that frames things in a one-way “privileged to not privileged” exchange. Everyone brings valuable skills and ideas to the table regardless of their expertise in data science or biology.

  • Sometimes values can be framed in a way that still maintains focus on individual benefit over the collective good. Instead, we should be careful emphasize that community based values are important beyond protecting our own individual interests.

What should we expect next?

As you can tell from the considerations above, transparency and inclusion are embedded throughout our goals. To that end, we’ll be publishing a follow-up post soon sharing a draft of our community values, and requesting feedback about what we may have missed, and which of the values resonate with you. Hopefully this post has provided some context as to why we are excited about developing community values for the Coop and what principles are guiding us through this process. Keep an eye on our general channels in Slack and MS Teams for announcements when the draft is published so you can share your feedback!