Journal Highlights

New survey highlights gender, racial harassment in astronomy and planetary science

Press Release— 

Women of color working in astronomy and planetary science report more gender and racial harassment than any other gender or racial group in the field, according to a new study revealing widespread harassment in these scientific disciplines.

In a survey of workplace experiences among astronomy and planetary science professionals, about 40 percent of women of color reported feeling unsafe in their workplace because of their gender, while 28 percent feel unsafe due to their race. About 13 percent of the survey’s female respondents reported skipping at least one class, meeting, fieldwork opportunity or other professional event for this reason. Some men of color also skipped events as a result of hearing racist comments at school or work, according to a new study detailing the survey’s results in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.  More

Editors’ Vox—Harassment in Astronomy and Planetary Science

Public consciousness of the stunning lack of diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, including the Earth and space sciences, has grown considerably in recent years. The academic research community within these STEM fields faces daunting challenges in dealing with the fact that our community does not have the benefit of the full representation of more than half of the population: Women and minorities are underrepresented. Without such full representation, the scientific community has serious gaps in access to knowledge, experience, and creativity that limit the forward progress of science. Research over the past few years has highlighted a range of potential factors that lead to a perpetuation of this lack of diversity as well as consequences for individuals and communities. [more]