(If you just want a link to the web form: http://tinyurl.com/NAMStatistics)
At the AAS 223 meeting as part of a hack day project, Jim Davenport and colleagues carried out a survey of the gender balance of speakers and question askers to get a better sense of the dynamics at astronomy conferences. Their results can be found here (http://www.astrobetter.com/report-gender-in-aas-talks/) and in more detail here (http://arxiv.org/abs/1403.3091. It makes for pretty interesting reading.
We (Karen Masters, Jonathan Pritchard, Stephen Wilkins) want to do the same at NAM2014 and, if you’re attending, we need your help! The better the coverage of parallel sessions the more interesting the results will be, so we need you to:
1) Record data on the gender of speaker, chair, and questions askers in as many NAM talks as possible using this simple web form
2) Spread word of this project to your friends/colleagues at NAM and encourage them to record data
After NAM has finished, we’ll analyse the data and share, suitably anonymised, results to get a better sense of the gender balance and dynamics of question asking at astronomy conferences. If you have ideas for how best to do this or want to help, get in touch! We’ll be discussing it in the NAM hack day on Wednesday too (http://www.nam2014.org/hackdaywiki/index.php5/Main_Page).
For this to work well we need to get as high a coverage of sessions and talks as possible. We’re totally dependent on volunteer effort, so any help you can offer in collecting data or spreading the word would be really appreciated.
This is the email we circulated to NAM attendees with the basic information:
Dear NAM attendees,
Following on from a similar survey that was carried out at the AAS 223 meeting, we intend to carry out a survey of the gender balance of speakers and question askers at NAM2014 in Portsmouth next week. For this we need you!
Participation is simple. All we need you to do is make use of this web form (http://tinyurl.com/NAMStatistics) to submit the gender of the speaker, chair, and questioners at the NAM talks that you attend. The results will be analysed, aggregated to ensure anonymity, and then shared to get a better sense of the gender balance and dynamics of question asking at astronomy conferences.
If you’re interested in reading more about the AAS survey that inspired this, the key results are described here (http://www.astrobetter.com/report-gender-in-aas-talks/) and in more detail here (http://arxiv.org/abs/1403.3091).
This will only work if we receive sufficient input from NAM attendees, so please consider making this a part of your NAM!
Please direct any queries to Jonathan Pritchard (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Stephen Wilkins (S.Wilkins@sussex.ac.uk), by email or in person at NAM. Please don’t query the hard working NAM local organisers about this survey, as they won’t be able to answer! This is a separate initiative conducted with the support of the RAS Diversity Committee, and not organised by the NAM LOC.
P.S. If you are interested in helping to analyse the resulting data please consider attending the NAM hack day on Wednesday (http://www.nam2014.org/hackdaywiki/index.php5/Main_Page)