Astronomy, and the sciences in general, are subject to a host of historical barriers to access that disproportionately affect different groups. These biases drive away otherwise fully qualified individuals and lead to demographics that are grossly out of sync with the general demographics of the US population. Removing these barriers is an active process built upon an understanding of the factors involved.
Listed below is a collection of resources related to diversity and inclusiveness within Astronomy, and related fields, to aid in an understanding of biases, and how to break down these barriers to access.
Lists of resources related to diversity and inclusiveness within astronomy
Multiple organizations within Astronomy and Wesleyan are working to increase diversity.
Surveys covering recent statistics, best practices, etc.
Surveys covering recent statistics, best practices, etc.
- AAS Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion in Graduate Astronomy Education (Jan 2019)
- Rubrics and resources for a diverse faculty and graduate student body (CSWA blog, 2018)
- STEM Inclusion Study (2018, webpage, initial report, AAPT response)
- Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, culture, and consequences in academic sciences, engineering, and medicine. (2018 National Academy of Sciences report)
- How to tackle the childcare-conference conundrum: Suggestions for how to make conferences more accommodating for parents with children.
- Effective Practices for Recruiting and Retaining Women in Physics: A list of guides, from the American Physical Society, on best practices for retaining female undergraduate students, postdocs, graduate students, and faculty. They also have tips for hiring and retaining minority faculty.
- Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering (2017 NSF Report)
- Resources for Undocumented Students
- Undocumented student resource guide: Document that lists (1) states that offer in-state tuition for undocumented students (2) schools that offer financial aid for undocumented students, (3) scholarships for undocumented students, and further sources of information.
- Undergrad/Grad Funding for Undocumented Students
- Scholarships open for undocumented students
- UndocuSTEM: Summer Research and Professional Development programs for Undocumented students in STEM
- LGBT+ Resources
- LGBT Climate in Physics (March 2016 APS report)
- LGBT+ Inclusivity in Physics and Astronomy: A Best Practices Guide (Ackerman et al. 2018, 2nd edition)
- Best practices for supporting LGBT+ Physicists & Astronomers (2014, 1st edition)
- Report on status of undergraduate women at MIT (February 2016)
- Building off of a similar report on experiences of women faculty at MIT (2011)
- Inclusive Astronomy 2015 Recommendations (as presented at the January 2016 AAS Meeting)
- NSF report on women, minorities and persons with disabilities in science and engineering (2015)
- African Americans & Hispanics among physics & astronomy faculty (Ivie, Anderson & White 2014)
- Survival strategies for African American astronomers and astrophysicists (Holbrook 2012)
- Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (2010)
Useful online utilities for understanding or evaluating biases
Useful online utilities for understanding or evaluating biases
- Parable of the Polygons: A simple, interactive illustration of how subtle biases can create a segregated society
- Recommendation letter gender bias calculator: A tool to analyze the language in a letter of recommendation, searching for gender-based biases
- Conference Diversity Distribution Calculator: How many female speakers would you expect at a conference, given the number of speakers and the fraction of women in your field?
- Implicit Bias Test: Take a simple test of your implicit bias
- Color Blindness Simulator: A tool to view your figures through different forms of color blindness
- Physics GRE requirements for US/Canadian Astronomy Programs: A listing of Astronomy graduate programs based on whether or not they require/recommend submission of a Physics GRE score for graduate admission.
- Tribal Lands map: A map of the US showing the Native American groups that lived in different regions of the country.
- Native-Land.ca: A map showing the (approximate) territories of Indigenous people from around the world
- Summer Research Programs for Undocumented Students in STEM Fields: A list of summer research programs in a variety of STEM fields that do not require American citizenship.
- Request a Women Scientist: An online database of female scientists across a wide range of disciplines.
- CAISE: An interactive platform connecting historically marginalized individuals (HMIs) in STEM. HMIs can use this platform for e.g. networking, while others can use the database to e.g. search for colloquium speakers from historically marginalized groups.
- LGBT STEM: An online resource focusing on interviews with LGBT scientists around the world.
- LGBT+Physics Outlist: Public list of LGBT+ Physicists, and allies.
- Astronomy & Astrophysics Outlist: Public list of LGBT+ Astronomers, and allies.
- Unconscious Bias Project: "Reducing unconscious bias in STEM with fact, tact, art, and activism"
- Astronomical Sign Language:
- International astronomy sign dictionary (47 terms, with many languages).
- British Sign Language Glossary (Scottish Sensory Centre)
- French Sign Language Glossary (300 signs, with text translated into English, and Spanish)
A collection of resources useful for teaching to a diverse student body, and teaching about the diverse history of astronomy
A collection of resources useful for teaching to a diverse student body, and teaching about the diverse history of astronomy
- The Under-Representation Curriculum Project: "A modular, student-centered curriculum designed to examine and address equity and inclusion in science."
- Teaching a Diverse Student Body (Center for Teaching Excellence at UVa)
- Teaching Guides on Women and Minorities: A collection of over 40 teaching guides, compiled by AIP, on the historical contributions of women and minorities in the sciences.
- Unheard Voices: Multicultural Astronomy and Women in Astronomy: An extensive resource guide covering the contributions of cultures outside of Europe and the US mainstream to Astronomy, as well as the contributions of women, and the barriers women have faced with Astronomy.
- Deafness-Related Resources and Links: Resources from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at RIT
- Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Resources: A list from the International Association for Geoscience Diversity
- Gender & Race in the Physical Sciences: Syllabus for course by Dr. Deconinck at William & Mary College (2015)
- The Persistent Lack of Diversity in the Sciences: Syllabus for course by Dr. Tecosky-Feldman & Dr. Willman at Haverford College (2015)
- Race, Gender, and Science: Syllabus for course by Dr. Barthelemy at Western Michigan University (2012)
Published research relevant to discussions of diversity and inclusiveness within STEM (*=discussed in Wesleyan Diversity Journal Club)
Published research relevant to discussions of diversity and inclusiveness within STEM (*=discussed in Wesleyan Diversity Journal Club)
- Reducing socioeconomic disparities in the STEM pipeline through student emotion regulation (Rozek et al. 2019)
- A study of ~1000 ninth grade students, looking at the role of emotional regulation and reinterpretation in test scores. They find that lower-income students perform significantly better (e.g. the failure rate is cut in half) when asked to write about their emotions prior to an exam, or to read an article about how stress/anxiety can be useful in preparation for an exam.
- Women who win prizes get less money and prestige (Ma et al. 2019)
- In examining the winners of biomedical prizes between 1968 and 2017, that while the fraction of women receiving major prizes has increased (from 5% to 27% today), women are still underrepresented among prize recipients, and typically receive only 60 cents for every prize dollar awarded to men. The fraction of women is even lower when considering the most prestigious prizes (17%), while at the same time women are overrepresented among prizes awarded for non-research reasons (50%).
- Gender differences in individual variation in academic grades fail to fit expected patterns for STEM (O'Dea et al. 2018)
- One hypothesis for the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields is that, while women have higher grades in STEM courses on average, there is larger variability among men, leading to an excess of men at the highest scores. This meta-analysis of 227 prior studies and find that women earn grades that are 6% higher than men, and 11% less variable. This effect is much too small to explain the gender gap (e.g. men and women are equally represented among the top 10%).
- Female students with A's have similar physics self-efficacy as male students with C's in introductory courses: A cause for alarm? (Marshman et al. 2018)
- Examine the self-efficacy of male and female students across a year long introductory physics sequence. Female students have lower self-efficacy scores than males students, and this gap continues to grow through the course sequence, regardless of instruction method (lecture vs 'flipped').
- Changing demographics of scientific careers: The rise of the temporary workforce (Milojevic et al. 2018)
- What does a successful postdoctoral fellowship publication record look like? (Pepper et al. 2018)
- Looks at the number of publications among astronomers that received prize postdoctoral fellowships, including a breakdown based on gender.
- The leaky pipeline for postdocs: A study of the time between receiving a PhD and securing a faculty job for male and female astronomers (Flaherty 2018)
- Using a public database of recently hired astronomy faculty, this paper looks at the time between receiving a PhD and being hired into a faculty position, finding that men spend ~5 years as a postdoc while women spend ~4 years as a postdoc. Based on a simple model of the labor market, they rule out a strong bias in favor of hiring women, but find that this result is consistent with women leaving the academic labor market at a higher rate than men.
- Making gender diversity work for scientific discovery and innovation (Nielson, Bloch & Shiebinger 2018)
- Becoming a legitimate scientist: Science identity of postdocs on STEM fields (Hudson et al. 2018)
- Career choice, gender, and mentor impact: Results of the U.S. National Postdoc Survey (McConnell et al. 2018)
- Steps to improve gender diversity in coastal geoscience and engineering (Vila-Concejo et al. 2018)
- Nevertheless she persisted? Gender peer effects in doctoral STEM programs (Bostwick & Weinberg 2018)
- Exploring how gender figures the identity trajectories of two doctoral students in observational astrophysics (Gonsalves 2018)
- How can we increase girls' uptake of maths and physics A-level? (Cassidy et al. 2018)
- Challenging epistemologies: Exploring knowledge practices in Palikur astronomy (Green 2018)
- The potential of astronomy for socioeconomic development in Africa (McBride et al. 2018)
- A summary of efforts to bring more astronomy to Africa, with an emphasis on how these astronomy activities can also promote socioeconomic development.
- Raising doubt in letters of recommendation for academia: Gender differences and their impact (Madera et al. 2018)
- Representation and pay of women of color in the higher education workforce (McChesney 2018)
- Women (men) of color make $0.67 ($0.72) for every dollar earned by white men. For white women the ratio is $0.81, with a strong decrease in pay equity toward higher positions (staff -> faculty -> administrators)
- Gender equity at scientific events (Debarre, Rode & Ugelvig 2018)
- Sex-disaggregated systematics in Canadian time allocation committee telescope proposal reviews (Spekkens, Cofie & Crabtree 2018)
- For SHE's a jolly good fellow? (Nordstrom et al. 2018)
- A statistical analysis finding that women are underrepresented among American Physical Society Fellows, even after accounting for the small number of fellowships awarded each year (ie. more often than not, the number of female fellows was below what would be predicted based on the fraction of women within physics)
- The gender gap in science: How long until women are equally represented? (Holman, Stuart-Fox & Hauser 2018)*
- Analysis of the fraction of female authors of journal articles, and how this has changed over the past 20 years, using over a million articles from the PubMed and arXiv databases. They find that the fields with the smallest fraction of women also show the smallest increase in the fraction of women. Based on their models, it will take >100 years for physics and astronomy to reach gender parity.
- Who perceives they are smarter? Exploring the influence of student characteristics on student academic self-concept in physiology (Cooper, Krieg & Browned 2018)
- Evidence for a mental health crisis in graduate education (Evans et al. 2018)
- Survey of 2,279 graduate students from a variety of disciplines using clinically validated scales to measure anxiety and depression. They find that 41% of students scored as having moderate to severe anxiety (compared to 6% of the population), and 39% scored in the moderate to sever depression range (compared to 6% of the general population). Rates of moderate to severe depression/anxiety were higher among female students, and higher among transgender students, and 15-20 percentage points higher among students with an unhealthy work-life balance, or a negative relationship with their advisor.
- The development of children's gender-science stereotypes: A meta-analysis of 5 decades of U.S. Draw-A-Scientist studies (Miller et al. 2018)
- Coming out in STEM: Factors affecting retention of sexual minority STEM students (Hughes 2018)
- The gender-equality paradox in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education (Stoer & Geary 2018)*
- A study of international math, science and reading performance among 15 year olds. They find that countries with more gender equality have fewer women among STEM college graduates, and that the fraction of female STEM college graduates is lower than expected based on science ability.
- Dancing backwards in high heels: Female professors experience more work demands and special favor requests, particularly from academically entitled students (El-Alayli, Hansen-Brown & Ceynar 2018)
- In a survey of professors, they find that a female (vs male) professors report more requests for work demands. Subsequently, they asses the propensity of students to ask for favors from a fictitious male or female professor. They find the academically entitled students had stronger expectations that a female professor would grant special favors, and were more likely to respond negatively when the request was denied.
- In the eye of the storm: Students' perceptions of helpful faculty actions following a collective tragedy (Huston & DiPietro 2017)
- A survey of students about their professors in-class response to the Sep 11 terrorist attacks. They find that nearly all efforts to address the attacks (e.g. a moment of silence, mentioning that students can take additional time to complete assignments) were viewed positively by the students.
- One and a half million medical papers reveal a link between author gender and attention to gender and sex analysis (Nielsen et al. 2017)
- Publishing while female: Are women held to higher standards? Evidence from peer review. (Hengel 2017)
- Making physics courses accessible for blind students: Strategies for course administration, class meetings, and course materials (Holt et al. 2017)
- Survey of the physics landscape and attempts to improve diversity (Beckford 2017)
- Short summary of demographics trends within physics, as compared to STEM fields, and the role of Bridge programs in improving diversity. They note that bridge programs have a much higher retention rate than typical for physics PhD programs (~85% vs 60%).
- Messages about brilliance undermine women's interest in educational and professional opportunities (Bian et al. 2017)
- Fixed and growth mindsets in physics graduate admissions (Scherr et al. 2017)
- A survey of the fixed and growth mindsets, and their relation to graduate admission strategies, among graduate admissions members at 18 institutions that value diversity (subject areas that value intrinsic intelligence have fewer women, and may be more likely to use the GRE as an admissions factor). They find a mix of fixed and growth mindsets even among these diversity-minded departments.
- Investigating approaches to diversity in a national survey of physics doctoral degree programs: The graduate admissions landscape (Potvin, Chari & Hodapp 2017)*
- A survey of practices among physics graduate admissions programs (including responses from ~80% of all active physics PhD programs in the country). They find that, when used, the GPA in physics/math courses, quality of recommendation letters, undergraduate courses taken and physics GRE are the most important factors when making admissions decisions. Interestingly, they also find that physics GRE is cited as Not Used by a third of all respondents, despite its importance among those respondents that still use it.
- Gender gaps in math performance, perceived mathematical ability and college STEM education: The role of parental occupation (Anaya et al. 2017)
- Gender disparities in colloquium speakers at top universities (Nittrouer et al. 2017)
- A survey of colloquium speakers across 5 disciplines at 50 prestigious US colleges and universities. They find that men give more colloquia than women, even after accounting for composition of the available speakers. They also find that women do not turn down colloquia significantly more often than men, nor do they value colloquia less than men, ruling out two possibles sources of this discrepancy.
- Salaries for female physics faculty trail those for male colleagues (Feder 2017)
- Based on a survey from the Statistical Research Center at the American Institute of Physics, even after accounting for e.g. employment sector and postdoctoral experience, female physics faculty earn on average 5.7% less than male physics faculty.
- Retention and promotion of women and underrepresented minority faculty in science and engineering at four large land grant institutions (Gumpertz et al. 2017)
- Sex differences in doctoral student publication rates (Lubienski, Miller, & Saclarides 2017)
- The equity ethic: Black and latinx college students reengineering their STEM careers toward justice (McGee & Bently 2017)
- When two bodies are (not) a problem: Gender and relationship status discrimination in academic hiring (Rivera 2017)*
- A study of the role of relationship status in hiring decisions, based on observations of a humanities hiring committee, and social sciences hiring committee and a natural sciences hiring committee. Among all three committees, the relationship status of the female job candidates was discussed, and often considered a liability and a reason not to offer the job to these candidates, while relationship status was rarely discussed for the male candidates. (Using relationship status as a factor in hiring decisions is illegal.)
- Men ask more questions than women at a scientific conference (Hinsley, Sutherland & Johnston 2017)
- Work organization and mental health problems in PhD students (Levecque et al. 2017)
- UMD 2017 Physics Graduate Student Mental Health Survey*
- Results of a mental health survey administered to physics graduate students at the University of Maryland. Half of the students identify themselves as depressed, with high rates of anxiety and stress. Only a third of students had sought counseling with regards to their mental health challenges. Women suffer from significantly higher rates of anxiety, imposter syndrome, body image issues, and depression.
- Choice of majors: Are women really different from men? (Kugler, Tinsley & Ukhaneva 2017)*
- The Physics Teacher: Special Issue on Race and Physics Teaching
- Teaching about racial equity in introductory physics courses (Daane, Decker, and Sawtelle 2017)*
- Puerto Rico: Race, ethnicity, culture, and physics teaching (Gonzalez-Espada & Carrasquillo 2017)
- Learning to do diversity work: A model for continued education of program organizers (Dounas-Frazer, Hyater-Adams & Reinhold 2017)
- The Chi-Sci Scholars Program: Developing community and challenging racially inequitable measures of success at minority serving institutions on Chicago's southside (Sabella, et al. 2017)
- Common challenges faced by women of color in physics, and actions faculty can take to minimize those challenges (Johnson et al. 2017)
- Integrating conversations about equity in "Whose Knowledge Counts" into science teacher education (Russ 2017)
- The truth has got its boots on: What evidence says about Mr. Damore's Google memo (Giglio 2017)
- Gender parity trends for invited speakers at four prominent virology conference series (Kalejta & Palmenberg 2017)
- A study of the gender breakdown of invited speakers over the past 30 years among four virology conferences. They find that the fraction of women has steadily increased, with parity predicted to occur in the 2040s. The fraction of female speakers is larger when conferences invite a larger fraction of first-time speakers, and when there is at least one women on the selection committee.
- Who asks questions at astronomy meetings (Scmidt & Davenport 2017)
- Continuation of Davenport et al. 2014 to include four winter AAS meetings. They continue to find that women are under-represented among question askers, and confirm that the fraction of questions from women increases as the number of questions asked increases.
- Unpacking the male superiority myth and maculinization of mathematics at the intersections: A review of research on gender in mathematics education (Leyva 2017)
- A systematic look at a serial problem: Sexual harassment of students by university faculty (Cantalupo & Kidder 2017)
- A review of nearly 300 cases of sexual harassment of graduate students (drawn from the media, federal civil rights cases, and lawsuits), finding that the vast majority of cases involve physical harassment (rather than just verbal harassment), and more than half (53%) involve serial harassers.
- Double jeopardy in astronomy and planetary science: Women of color face greater risks of gendered and racial harassment (Clancy et al. 2017)
- Survey of workplace experiences of 474 astronomers and planetary scientists, with a focus on the double-bind facing women of color. They find that 40% of women of color reported feeling unsafe in the workplace as a result of their gender or sex (a higher percentage than for white women), and 18% of women of color have skipped a professional event because they did not feel safe (compared to 12% of white women).
- Supporting and enhancing diversity and inclusiveness in AAPT (AAPT Committee on Diversity in Physics 2017)
- Female peer mentors early in college increase women's positive academic experiences and retention in engineering (Dennehy & Dasgupta 2017)
- Longitudinal study of the influence of mentors (both male and female) on incoming female engineering students' experience, self-efficacy, and interest in engineering. Students with female mentors showed no significant decline in sense of belonging or self-efficacy through the first year (unlike the groups with no mentor or male mentors). Significant benefits were even seen a year after the mentoring relationship concluded.
- Nature Astronomy Focus: Gender equity in astronomy
- A collection of 8 articles discussing gender equity in astronomy
- Quantitative evaluation of gender bias in astronomical publications from citation counts (Caplar et al. 2017)*: Papers with female first authors receive 10% fewer citations than comparable papers with male first authors.
- Participation of women in spacecraft science teams (Rathbun 2017): Since 2000, women make up 15% of NASA robotic spacecraft teams, while they make up 20-30% of planetary scientists.
- Diversity and inclusiveness in large scientific collaborations (Lucatello & Diamond-Stanic 2017)*: A first of its kind demographic survey of a large scientific collaboration (SDSS)
- Speaker introductions at internal medicine grand rounds: Forms of address reveal gender bias (Files et al. 2017)
- Semantics derived automatically from language corpora contain human-like biases (Caliskan et al. 2017)*
- Machine-learning driven AI systems build up biases, as tested through the Implicit Association Test, that reflect human biases (including problematic biases associated with race and gender).
- The role of gender in asking questions at Cool Stars 18 and 19 (Schmidt et al. 2017)*
- A study of the gender of people that asked questions at two international conferences. They find that the fraction of questions asked by women (~20%) is smaller than the fraction of women attending the meeting (~35-40%). Contrary to previous studies, the fraction of questions asked by women does not significantly depend on the gender of the chair.
- Women's interest development and motivations to persist as college students in STEM: a mixed methods analysis of views and voices from a Hispanic-Serving Institution (Talley & Ortiz 2017)
- A mixed method study, consisting of a survey and focus groups, of the factors affecting interest development and motivation among women, with an eye towards differences between Latina and African-American students and their White female peers.
- Gendered pathways: How mathematics ability beliefs shape secondary and postsecondary course and degree field choices (Perez-Felkner et al. 2017)
- Gender in the global research landscape (Elsevier 2017)
- A study of publication habits of men/women in STEM based on the Elsevier journal archives. Includes gender statistics on researchers from different countries and different fields. They find that men tend to publish more papers than women (although I am confused about their method for measuring this...).
- A gendered approach to science ethics for US and UK physicists (Ecklund & Di 2017)
- Gender pay gap and the representation of women in higher education administrative positions: The century so far (Bischel & McChesney 2017)
- Microaggresions: Strong claims, inadequate evidence (Lilienfield 2017)
- Journals invite too few women to referee (Lerback & Hanson 2017)
- Gender stereotypes about intellectual ability emerge early and influence children's interests (Bian et al. 2017)*
- This study finds that the between ages 5 and 6/7 girls develop the stereotype that associates brilliance with men, and the older girls show less interest in games that are said to be for children that are "really, really smart."
- Gender representation on journal editorial boards in the mathematical sciences (Topaz & Sen 2016)
- Meta-analysis of faculty's teaching effectiveness: Student evaluation of teaching ratings and student learning are not related (Uttl, White & Gonzalez 2016)
- Do the best teachers get the best ratings? (Kornell & Hausman 2016)
- Light bulbs or seeds? How metaphors for ideas influence judgments about genius (Elmore & Luna-Lucero 2016)
- Gender stereotypes in science education resources: A visual content analysis (Kerkhoven et al. 2016)
- Decoupling of the minority Ph.D. talent pool and assistant professor hiring in medical school basic science departments in the US (Gibbs et al. 2016)*
- A study of biomedical PhD and professorships finding that while URM phD graduates increased by 9.3 times from 1980 to 2013, this increase in the size of the URM talent pool did not lead to a corresponding increase in the number of URM professors (For well-represented racial/ethnic backgrounds, the increase in PhD graduates was well correlated with an increase in assistant professors). Using simulations they show that the hiring rate of URM PhD graduates, and not simply the number of URM PhD graduates, needs to increase to raise the number of URM assistant professors.
- Gender-related systematics in the NRAO and ALMA proposal review processes (Lonsdale et al. 2016)
- An examination of proposal rank as a function of gender for ALMA proposals from cycles 2-4, and NRAO proposals from 2012 to 2016. They find that female PIs receive systematically lower grades over this period, consistent with findings for HST (Reid 2014) and ESO (Patat 2016).
- The impact of learning assistants on the inequities in physics student outcomes (van Dusen et al. 2016)
- Quantitative evaluation of gender bias in astronomical publications from citation counts (Caplar et al. 2016)*
- An analysis of the role of first author gender on the citation rates of 20,000 articles in leading astronomical journals from 1950-2015. Controlling for non-gender specific properties, they find that articles with female first authors receive 10% fewer citations than equivalent articles by male first authors.
- Building an inclusive AAS - The critical role of diversity and inclusion training for AAS council and astronomy leadership (Brinkworth et al. 2016)
- An article describing the deficiencies within astronomy when it comes to supporting minoritized students, and calling for diversity and inclusion training for those in positions of power (AAS council, hiring committees, etc) as a requirement.
- Gender differences in recommendation letters for postdoctoral fellowships in geoscience (Dutt et al. 2016)
- Examination of letter length and tone in 1,224 letters written on behalf of applicants for a prominent geosciences postdoctoral position. There was no significant difference between the letter length for male vs female applicants, but female applicants were significantly less likely to receive an 'excellent' vs 'good' recommendation. No significant difference in tone based on region or on the gender of the letter writer.
- Gender systematics in telescope time allocation at ESO (Patat 2016)
- Analysis of telescope proposal success rates form women vs men when applying to ESO telescopes over an eight year period. They find that women have a 20-30% lower success rate, which they ascribe to differences in career levels (more men at the higher career levels, where the success rate is higher) although there is evidence of biases (at postdoc level, women have a lower success rate, and women receive lower initial grades).
- To stay or leave: Factors that impact undergraduate women's persistence in science majors (Gayles & Ampaw 2016)
- Physics Education Research Focused Collection: Gender in Physics
- A collection of 17 articles covering gender in physics and physics education
- Student evaluations of physics teachers: On the stability and persistence of gender bias (Potvin & Hazari 2016) *
- Educational Pathways of Black women physicists: Stories of experiencing and overcoming obstacles in life (Rosa & Mensah 2016)*
- Gender discrimination in physics and astronomy: Graduate student experiences of sexism and gender microaggressions (Barthelemy et al. 2016)*
- Fitting in or opting out: A review of key social-psychological factors influencing a sense of belonging for women in physics (Lewis et al. 2016)*
- Stereotype Threat (Spencer, Logel & Davies 2016)*
- Review of research on Stereotype threat. Discusses mechanisms underlying stereotype threat (extra pressure to succeed, a general threat to sense of belonging and self-integrity), its effects on performance within and outside of the classroom (e.g. diminished perception by a target of their own ability within a stereotyped domain) and ways in which to combat its effects (self-affirmation and identity-safe environments).
- But you don't look like a scientist!: Women scientists with feminine appearance are deemed less likely to be scientists (Banchefsky et al. 2016)
- Stereotypes about gender and science: Women ne Scientists (Carli et al. 2016)
- Survey of undergraduate students comparing stereotypes of women and men to that of scientists. They find that stereotypes associated with scientists are more highly correlated with stereotypes about men than about women. This effect is smaller among women at single-sex colleges. For fields with a larger fraction of women (psychology vs biology/chemistry/physics) the stereotypes about scientists were more similar to stereotypes about women than in the male-dominated fields.
- Even Einstein struggled: Effects of learning about great scientists' struggles on high school student motivation to learn (Lin-Siegler et al. 2016)
- A study finding that presenting (predominately minority) students with stories about the intellectual, or personal, struggles of scientists leads to increased performance, while presenting stories about the great achievements of scientists may lead to decreased performance. This effect was most significant among the low-performing students.
- Males Under-Estimate Academic Performance of Their Female Peers in Undergraduate Biology Classrooms (Grunspan et al. 2016)
- In a survey of intro biology courses, men over-nominated male peers as being knowledgeable about course content. This bias persists when accounting for outspokenness and class performance, and was not seen among the female students.
- Quality of evidence revealing subtle gender biases is in the eye of the beholder (Handley et al. 2015)
- An experiment testing the response of men/women and STEM/non-STEM faculty to the abstract of an article finding gender bias within STEM. Men rated the abstract less favorably than women, with the effect particularly strong among STEM faculty (no difference was seen between the ratings of male and female non-STEM faculty). Men rated an abstract finding no gender bias more favorably than women.
- Can evidence impact attitudes? Public reactions to evidence of gender bias in STEM fields (Moss-Racusin et al. 2015)
- An analysis of online comments about the Moss-Racusin et al. 2012 study on gender bias in resume evaluation. Most of the responses were positive, agreeing that gender bias existed. Men were more likely to make sexist comments against women, to justify the bias (based on either biological or non-biological factors) and to criticize the results, while women were more likely to agree that sexism exists.
- Queer in STEM: Workplace experiences reported in a national survey of LGBTQA individuals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers (Yoder & Mattheis 2015)*
- A survey, featuring over 1400 online responses, 150 open-response questionnaires, and 60 one-on-one interviews, about queer experiences among STEM grad students, postdocs, faculty, and non-academic professionals. Respondents were more open in personal contexts than to students or colleagues, consistent with surveys of other fields. There is a correlation between fraction of women within a field and openness (with the exception of psychology). 92% rated their workplace as safe, with a strong correlation between openness and feeling safe/welcome.
- Expectations of brilliance underlie gender distributions across academic disciplines (Leslie et al. 2015)*
- Survey finding that the extent to which practitioners within a field believe that success is due to innate ability is anti-correlated with the representation of women and African-Americans' within that field. This study finds that this trend extends into non-STEM fields.
- What happens before? A field experiment exploring how pay and representation differentially shape bias on the pathway into organizations (Milkman et al. 2015)
- Physics GRE scores of prize postdoctoral fellows in astronomy (Levesque et al. 2015)
- In a survey of astronomers that received prize postdoctoral fellowships between 2010 and 2015, no significant correlation is seen between Physics GRE and number of first-author papers, and no minimum percentile score among the fellows.
- Using non-cognitive assessments in graduate admission to select better students and increase diversity (Miller 2015, STATUS newsletter)
- Faculty-student contact outside of the classroom: Supporting evidence and promoting practices (Cuseo 2015)
- Enriching gender in PER: A binary past and complex future (Traxler et al. 2015)
- A literature review pointing out that studies of gender in physics education tend to suffer because they treat gender as a fixed binary trait, and they use male performance as the standard against which others are judged. They propose that a more nuanced view of gender (e.g. performance theory, feminist theories of learning) is needed in future studies.
- Equity investigation of attitudinal shifts in introductory physics (Traxler & Brewe 2015) *
- The gender breakdown of the applicant pool for tenure-track faculty positions at a sample of north american research astronomy programs (Thompson et al. 2015)
- Based on a survey of 35 faculty searches at 25 institutions, they find that women make up on average 20% of the applicant pool, despite women being 35% of all graduate students, 29% of all postdocs, and 30% of all assistant professors. Possible explanations include men being more likely send in an application, despite not meeting the job qualifications, and these job searches drawing from the field of physics, which has a lower fraction of women.
- Elite male faculty in the life sciences employ fewer women (Sheltzer & Smith 2014)
- Studying gender in conference talks -- Data from the 223rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society (Davenport et al. 2014)*
- A study of the gender distribution among question askers at the 223rd AAS meeting in January 2014. They find that only 24% of questions were asked by women, but women made up 35% of speakers. Sessions chaired by women have a gender distribution of question askers more similar to the overall conference demographics.
- Asking gender questions (Pritchard et al. 2014)*
- Study of the gender of people that asked questions at the National Astronomy Meeting in the UK in June 2014. Women are under-represented among question askers (18%) as compared to the overall fraction of female attendees (28%). The gender of the speaker and the gender of the session chair do not significantly affect the number of questions asked, or the gender ratio of the question askers.
- Gender-based systematics in HST proposal selection (Reid 2014)
- An examination of gender-based success rate in HST proposals from 2001 to 2012. Male PIs have a consistently higher success rate, by ~5 percentage points, over the entire period. This discrepancy may, in part, be due to differences in seniority; there are more senior male PIs than senior female PIs, and these senior male PIs have a much higher success rate than senior female PIs (male and female recent graduates have similar success rates). Also the younger the panel the higher success rate for female PIs.
- Women's persistence into graduate astronomy programs: The roles of support, interest, and capital (McCormick et al. 2014)
- The authors interview five female astronomy graduate students in order to understand the factors in their success. The students mention (1) engaging introductory courses, (2) mentoring, from both faculty and postdocs, (3) a collaborative, rather than competitive, classroom environment. Love of astronomy and lack of economic constraints are also common themes.
- Survey of Academic Field Experiences (SAFE): Trainees report harassment and assault (Clancy et al. 2014)
- Survey among field scientists (mainly anthropologists and archaeologists) to determine the frequency of sexual assault and harassment during field work. A majority (72%) of respondents reported that they had observed or been told about researchers making inappropriate or sexual remarks, with much of this based on first hand experience (64%). Harassment of women tends to come from superiors, while for men it comes from peers. [Snowball sampling methods means these numbers may be upper limits]
- Collaborating with people like me: Ethnic co-authorship within the US (Freeman & Huang 2014)
- A test that fails (Miller & Stassum 2014)
- "In simple terms, the GRE is a better indicator of sex and skin color than of ability and ultimate success." Essay arguing that physics and astronomy departments should stop using the GRE as a metric in graduate admissions decisions.
- Bibliometrics: Global gender disparities in science (Lariviere et al. 2013)
- The Matilda effect in science communication: An experiment on gender bias in publication quality perceptions and collaboration interest (Knobloch-Westerwick, Glynn & Huge 2013)
- Gender gap on concept inventories in physics: What is consistent, what is inconsistent, and what factor influence the gap (Madsen et al. 2013)
- Factors that affect the physical science career interest of female students: Testing five common hypotheses (Hazari et al. 2013)*
- Use the Persistence Research in Science and Engineering (PRiSE) survey of 7500 female college english students to test whether their interest in a career in physical science is influenced by (1) having a single-sex physics class, (2) having a female physics teacher, (3) having female guest speakers in class, (4) discussing the work of female scientists and (5) discussing the under-representation of women. While controlling for prior interest in physical sciences, grades in math and science, and number of years taking high school physics, they found that only discussions of the under-representation of women significantly increase student interest in the physical sciences.
- Leaks in the pipeline: Separating demographics inertia from ongoing gender differences in academia (Shaw & Stanton 2012)
- Overview of Hispanics in STEM: K-16 representation, preparation and participation (Crisp & Nora 2012)
- Review of recent research on Hispanic students in STEM. The research points to the importance of early intervention (e.g. as early as pre-K), improving early achievement levels to help in college preparation, the role of family and peer groups in supporting a STEM career, and institutional agents as a means of support.
- You deplete me: The cognitive costs of colorblindness on ethnic minorities (Holoien & Shelton 2012)*
- Experiment finding that ethnic minorities (Black/Asian) show diminished cognitive functioning after interacting with White students primed with a Colorblind narrative, as compared to when they interact with White students primed with a Multicultural narrative.
- Science faculty's subtle gender biases favor male students (Moss-Racusin et al. 2012)*
- In evaluating identical applications for a student lab manager position, science faculty rated the female applicant as less competent, which lead them to be less likely to hire the female applicant and to offer them a lower starting salary. This effect was seen among both male and female faculty, and was amplified by any prior subtle bias in the faculty.
- Navigating the heteronormativity of engineering: The experience of lesbian, gay, and bisexual students (Cech & Waidzuna 2011)
- (Re)Defining departure: Exploring black professors' experiences with and responses to racism and racial climate (Griffin et al. 2011)
- "Someone like me can be successful": Do college students need same-gender role models (Lockwood 2006)
- Gender equality in academia: Bad news from the trenches, and some possible solutions (Monroe et al. 2008)
- Gender imbalance in US geoscience academia (Holmes et al. 2008)
- An understanding of the improved grades, retention, and graduation rates of STEM majors at the Academic Investment in Math and Science (AIMS) program of Bowling Green State University (BGSU) (Gilmer 2007)
- Reducing the gender achievement gap in college sciences: A classroom study of values affirmation (Miyake et al. 2010)
- An experiment looking at whether values affirmation, in which students write about their most important values, can reduce stereotype threat. In a study of college physics students, values affirmation was found to significantly improve female performance, especially for those who tended to endorse the stereotype that men do better than women in physics. (but may not be reproducible, see Madsen et al. 2013)
- New trends in gender and mathematics performance: A meta-analysis (Lindberg et al. 2010)
- Can mentoring help female assistant professors? Interim results from a randomized trial (Blau et al. 2010)
- Unintended consequences: How science professors discourage women of color (Johnson 2007)
- Social incentives for gender differences in propensity to initiate negotiations: Sometimes it does hurt to ask (Bowles et al. 2007)
- Double-blind review favors increased representation of female authors (Budden et al. 2008)
- Reducing the gender gap in the physics classroom (Lorenzo et al. 2006)
- Women in Physics and Astonomy, 2005 (Ivie & Ray 2005)
- Demographics report for physics and astronomy
- Science anxiety and gender in students taking general education science courses (Udo et al. 2004)
- Are Emily and Greg more employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination (Bertrand & Mullainathan 2004)
- Groups of diverse problem solvers can outperform groups of high-ability problem solvers (Hong & Page 2004)
- The gap in cosmology: Results from a small case study of undergraduates (Miller 2003)
- Exploring the color of glass: Letters of recommendation for female and male medical faculty (Trix & Psenka 2003)
- Improving adolescents' standardized test performance: An intervention to reduce stereotype threat (Good et al. 2003)
- Seventh grade students were mentored to view intelligence as malleable (Growth Mindset). Women in the experimental (Growth Mindset) condition earned significantly higher reading standardized test scores than students in the control condition.
- The impact of gender on the review of curricula vitae of job applicants and tenure candidates: A national empirical study (Steinpreis, Anders & Ritzke 1999)
- Stereotype susceptibility: Identity salience and shifts in quantitative performance (Shih, Pittinsky & Ambady 1999)
- Nepotism and sexism in peer-review (Wenneras & Wold 1997)
- Stereotype threat and the intellectual test performance of African Americans (Steele & Aronson 1995)
Related Journal Articles
Research in non-STEM fields that also applies to STEM
Research in non-STEM fields that also applies to STEM
- Results from sexual harassment survey 2017 (National Postdoctoral Association 2018)
- Gender bias in student evaluations (Mitchell & Martin 2018)
- Women, work, and the state of wage inequality (Kirkpatrick 2017)
- How subtle class cues can backfire on your resume (Rivera & Tilcsik 2016)
- Why diversity programs fail (Dobbin & Kalev 2016)
- Race without racism: How higher education researchers minimize racist institutional norms (Harper 2016)
- Do women ask? (Arts et al. 2016)
- Whitened resumes: Race and self-presentation in the labor market (Kang et al. 2016)
- Insights into sexism: Male status and performance moderates female-directed hostile and amicable behavior (Kasumovic & Kuznekoff 2015)
- Gender and perceptions of leadership effectiveness: A meta-analysis of contextual moderators (Paustian-Underdahl et al. 2014)
- Based on a meta-analysis of previous studies, they find that when rated by other people, there is no difference in ratings of leadership effectiveness between men and women. Among self-ratings, men consistently rate themselves as more effective than women rate themselves.
- The paradox of meritocracy in organizations (Castilla & Benard 2010)
- It's about family: Native American student persistence in higher education (Guillory & Wolverton 2008)
- Checkmate? The role of gender stereotypes in the ultimate intellectual sport (Maass, D'Ettole & Cadinu 2007)*
- Noncognitive constructs and their assessment in graduate education: A Review (Kyllonen, Walters & Kaufman 2005)
- The gender similarities hypothesis (Hyde 2005)
- An analysis of 46 meta-analyses finding little to no gendered effect on most of the psychological variables examined.
- The unexpected effects of a sexual harassment educational program (Bingham & Scherer 2001)
- Gender differences in personality traits across cultures: Robust and surprising findings (Costa Jr, et al. 2001)
- Gender differences varied across cultures, in contradiction to predictions from evolutionary theory.
- Gender differences in empathic accuracy: Differential ability or differential motivation? (Ickes, Gesn & Graham 2000)
- A review finding that differences in empathy associated with gender are not biological.
- Orchestrating impartiality: The impact of "blind" auditions on female musicians (Goldin & Rouse 1997)
Research related to affirmative action college admissions policies
Research related to affirmative action college admissions policies
- Even with affirmative action, blacks and hispanics are more underrepresented at top colleges than 35 years ago (New York Times 2017)
- Demographic trends at many universities across the country, including Ivy League schools, liberal arts colleges, University of California schools (where affirmative action was banned in 1998), and flagship state schools. While the fraction of minority students had increased over the past four decades, it still lags behind the fraction of minority students in the college-age population.
- Can socioeconomic status substitute for race in affirmative action college admissions policies? Evidence from a simulation model (Reardon et al. 2015)
- Multiple group threat and malleable white attitudes toward academic merit (Samson 2013)
- The distribution of grants and scholarships by race (Kantrowitz 2011)
- Negative action vs affirmative action: Asian pacific americans are still caught in the crossfire (Kidder 2006)
- Espanshade & Chung argue, using a race-neutral admissions model, that 4 out of every 5 admissions given to latinx and black students would be transferred to asian pacific american students if affirmative action is eliminated. This paper argues that the elimination of affirmative action in support of black and latinx students is independent of any factors that affect the admission of asian pacific american students. Without the removal of any negative action affecting asian pacific americans, eliminating race-conscious admission policies would benefit white students most of all.
- Does affirmative action reduce the number of black lawyers? (Ayres & Brooks 2005)
- The black mismatch theory myth in legal education: The systemic flaws in Richard Sander's affirmative action study (Harries & Kidder 2005)