Demographics of Astrophysical, Planetary and Space Sciences: A 25-year Perspective
For the past 25 years or so I have been digging into the demographics of our field. I guess it is the scientist in me. But I also find that the numbers can challenge our assumptions about what is shaping the demographics of our field. In this regard, it is useful to look at the demographics of scientific fields in different countries. Which country would you guess to have the highest percentage of PhDs in physics awarded to women? It’s probably not a country that comes to mind. Then there is the usual assumption that the numbers must be getting better with time. Did you know that the percentage of US physics bachelors degrees awarded to women has been dropping for the past 15 years? In this talk I will review the numbers, offer some reflections, and outline some potential local actions that could change the demographics of the physical sciences.