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How Can Physics Become More Diverse?

Written by: U. Pittsburgh
Published on: May 13, 2024

Physics Diversity Question

Photo Credit: sosiukin -

Physics has long suffered from the perception that the most cutting-edge work is done by lone geniuses, usually white men.

It’s a bias that’s seeped into how instructors interact with their students, and even into how students think about themselves. Prior research has shown that female students who get A’s in introductory physics think they’re as good at physics as male students who get C’s.

“If we really want to actually give every student the opportunity to do well, then we need to think very carefully about our role in either perpetuating the culture or changing the culture,” says Chandralekha Singh, a professor in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh who directs the Discipline-based Science Education Research Center. “Physicists, and especially those in positions of power, have a major role to play in improving the physics culture.”

Singh’s paper in Nature Physics pulls together research from 120 physics studies diagnosing the problem and offering potential solutions. 

Click here to read the full article.