Results from a brand new survey of astronomers and geophysicists present that these sciences have a systemic bullying downside; one that’s disproportionately worse for girls and these from minority teams. In a survey carried out by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) final 12 months of over 650 individuals in the sector, 44% of respondents had suffered bullying and harassment in the office throughout the previous 12 months. Aine O’Brien, RAS Diversity Officer, will current the important thing outcomes in a chat on the digital National Astronomy Meeting on Thursday 22 July.

Key preliminary findings present:

Disabled, and Black and minority ethnic astronomers and geophysicists are 40% extra prone to be bullied than their non-disabled and White colleagues respectively.

Women and non-binary individuals in the sector are 50% extra probably than males to be bullied and harassed.

50% of lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, and queer astronomers and geophysicists had been bullied in the final 12 months, and 12% of bisexual astronomers reported being bullied a minimum of as soon as per week.

The RAS Committee on Diversity in Astronomy and Geophysics commissioned the survey, and O’Brien and Dr Sheila Kanani, the Royal Astronomical Society Education, Outreach and Diversity Officer, carried out the survey for the Society and analysed its findings.

O’Brien stated: “This is the first time data like these have been collected in our field. It’s bleak, sadly somewhat unsurprising, but is unequivocal evidence to show we need to improve the workplace culture in academia. We have a well-reported diversity problem in STEM and this does nothing to help. Women and minorities are feeling pushed out.”

Professor Emma Bunce, RAS President stated: “The results from the survey are very concerning indeed, and we must act to change this unacceptable situation. The RAS is doing important work to uncover these facts, and we are committed to working alongside the community to urgently improve the environment in astronomy and geophysics”

Dr Natasha Stephen, Chair of the RAS Committee for Diversity in Astronomy & Geophysics (CDAG), stated: “Our RAS community is increasingly diverse, yet far from equitable. This survey highlights the disparity in lived experience across our global community, and paints a worrying picture of the way in which those from marginalised communities are often treated. We acknowledge that these largely intersectional issues cannot be solved overnight, but CDAG will work with RAS fellows and the wider field to understand and tackle these systemic problems.”

The information had been collected as a part of a wider survey protecting experiences of struggling and witnessing bullying and harassment, in addition to office tradition, in astronomy and geophysics. The full survey outcomes shall be printed by the RAS later this summer season.


Media contacts

Dr Robert Massey

Royal Astronomical Society

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Dr Morgan Hollis

Royal Astronomical Society

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Anita Heward

Royal Astronomical Society

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[email protected]

Vittoria D’Alessio

PR and Media Manager

University of Bath

Tel: +44 (0)1225 383 135

[email protected]

Science contacts

Aine O’Brien

Diversity Officer

Royal Astronomical Society

[email protected]

Dr Natasha Stephen

Chair, RAS Committee for Diversity in Astronomy & Geophysics

[email protected]

Notes for editors

About the National Astronomy Meeting

The Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2021) will happen on-line from 19 – 23 July 2021. Bringing collectively round 800 astronomers and house scientists, the convention is the most important annual skilled astronomy and house science occasion in the UK, and sees main researchers from world wide presenting their newest work.

NAM 2021 incorporates the annual conferences of the Magnetosphere Ionosphere Solar-Terrestrial (MIST) and UK Solar Physics (UKSP) teams. The convention is principally sponsored by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the University of Bath.

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About the Royal Astronomical Society

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), based in 1820, encourages and promotes the examine of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and intently associated branches of science. The RAS organises scientific conferences, publishes worldwide analysis and assessment journals, recognises excellent achievements by the award of medals and prizes, maintains an intensive library, helps schooling by grants and outreach actions and represents UK astronomy nationally and internationally. Its greater than 4,000 members (Fellows), a 3rd based mostly abroad, embrace scientific researchers in universities, observatories and laboratories in addition to historians of astronomy and others.

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About the Science and Technology Facilities Council

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a part of UK Research and Innovation – the UK physique which works in partnership with universities, analysis organisations, companies, charities, and authorities to create the very best atmosphere for analysis and innovation to flourish. STFC funds and helps analysis in particle and nuclear physics, astronomy, gravitational analysis and astrophysics, and house science and additionally operates a community of 5 nationwide laboratories in addition to supporting UK analysis at quite a lot of worldwide analysis amenities together with CERN, FERMILAB and the ESO telescopes in Chile. STFC is protecting the UK on the forefront of worldwide science and has a broad science portfolio and works with the tutorial and industrial communities to share its experience in supplies science, house and ground-based astronomy applied sciences, laser science, microelectronics, wafer scale manufacturing, particle and nuclear physics, different vitality manufacturing, radio communications and radar.

STFC’s Astronomy and Space Science programme gives assist for a variety of amenities, analysis teams and people in order to research a few of the highest precedence questions in astrophysics, cosmology and photo voltaic system science. STFC’s astronomy and house science programme is delivered by grant funding for analysis actions, and additionally by assist of technical actions at STFC’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre and RAL Space on the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. STFC additionally helps UK astronomy by the worldwide European Southern Observatory.

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About the University of Bath

The University of Bath is among the UK’s main universities each in phrases of analysis and our repute for excellence in instructing, studying and graduate prospects.

The University is rated Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the Government’s evaluation of instructing high quality in universities, that means its instructing is of the best high quality in the UK.

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 analysis evaluation 87 per cent of our analysis was outlined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally wonderful’. From creating gasoline environment friendly automobiles of the long run, to figuring out infectious ailments extra rapidly, or working to enhance the lives of feminine farmers in West Africa, analysis from Bath is making a distinction world wide. Find out extra

Well established as a nurturing atmosphere for enterprising minds, Bath is ranked extremely in all nationwide league tables. We are ranked sixth in the UK by The Guardian University Guide 2021, and ninth in The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 and tenth in the Complete University Guide 2021. Our sports activities providing was rated as being in the world’s prime 10 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject in 2021.


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