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Gender Representation at a Specialized Astronomy Conference

4 May 2015, 19:00 UTC
Gender Representation at a Specialized Astronomy Conference
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Today's guest blogger is Kyle Willett. Kyle is a postdoc in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota. He works on galaxy morphology and their relation to active black holes, particularly as part of the Galaxy Zoo project.Members of the astronomy community have recently been tracking participation at conferences as a function of gender. This is intended to address some basic questions about behavior at conferences, such as:How equal are the allotments of talks among men and women?Are men and women asking questions of speakers at the same rate?Does it matter if the speaker/session chair is a man or a woman?Are women/men more likely to ask the first question in a session? Does this affect the gender balance of remaining questions?In the broader sense, this is intended to measure if our collective behavior at conferences — in choosing speakers, engaging with them, and interacting with the audience — is as inclusive as it should be. If not, then hopefully the community can come up with some ideas of best practices to follow. Data-gathering efforts were started by James Davenport at the 223rd American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in 2014, and repeated at the 225th AAS meeting ...

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