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Girls in physics: Why there’s an issue and the way we are able to remedy it


like that. Our special report looks at the steps we can take to improve things"}” data-sheets-userformat=”{"2":641,"3":[null,0],"10":0,"12":0}”>Girls are nonetheless wildly under-represented in physics – but it surely does not should be like that. Our particular report seems on the steps we are able to take to enhance issues

WHEN we had been 16 years previous, my good friend Karen and I had been interviewed for an academic video. With our hair thick with styling mousse, pale blue eyeliner and misplaced teen swagger, we defined why we had chosen to review physics. We had been the one two ladies in our faculty that yr who had. Our video was going to encourage different ladies to do the identical. We had been going to alter the world.

Thirty years on, it’s secure to say our ambition failed. In 2016, no ladies studied A degree physics in nearly half of the faculties in England that admit ladies. In the identical yr, simply one-third of faculties had two or extra ladies taking the topic. It’s a related image throughout a lot of the world. Regardless of all of the initiatives to draw extra ladies into physics, the proportion stays stubbornly low.

Physics and sexism has been thrust into the highlight in latest weeks by the incendiary feedback made by theoretical physicist Alessandro Strumia. At a workshop on gender in physics, of all locations, at CERN close to Geneva in Switzerland, he claimed that ladies had been much less succesful than males at physics analysis. The day after he was suspended by CERN, Donna Strickland grew to become solely the third lady to obtain the Nobel prize in physics in its 117-year historical past, sharing this yr’s award for her pioneering work on lasers.

All this paints an image of physics as a profession that’s unwelcoming to girls to start out with and isolating for a lot of of those that do make it. However why is that this nonetheless the case in …

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