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Rachel Ivie

Rachel Ivie
Research Manager
American Institute of Physics Statistical Research Center

Plenary Lecture: Who are the Future Faces of Physics?


Who are the Future Faces of Physics?

To answer this question, we will look at statistics on how the representation of women and under-represented minorities in physics has changed over the last several years.  Because the representation of women among physics bachelors and PhDs has been steadily increasing, the future faces of physics are increasingly female.  The same cannot be said for under-represented minorities (Hispanics and African Americans) in physics.  In general, the percentage of physics degree recipients who are African American or Hispanic is extremely low and has changed very little since 1994.  Although the representation of women in physics is increasing, physics is dead last among the sciences in terms of its representation of women.  Causes of and remedies for the low participation of under-represented minorities and women in physics will be discussed, as will implications for the future of physics. 

Biographical Sketch

Rachel Ivie is Research Manager at the Statistical Research Center (SRC) at the American Institute of Physics.  She received her PhD in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she specialized in research methods, statistics, gender, and the life course.  Before coming to the SRC, Dr. Ivie was a professor of sociology and taught various courses to undergraduates, including the sociology of gender and research methods.  Over the past ten years at SRC, she has specialized in studies of the workforce and diversity in physics.  She was the principal investigator on a contract to the National Academies of Science that documented the hiring, tenure and promotion practices of all Research I universities in six scientific fields and how these practices are related to gender.  Dr. Ivie has been involved in several U.S. and international efforts to increase women’s presence in physics. She was a member of the U.S. delegation to the 2nd International Conference on Women in Physics.  Dr. Ivie provides social science expertise in the collection, analysis, and reporting of data—both quantitative and qualitative—about women minorities in the fields of physics and astronomy.