Status Report

Socio-demographic study of the exoplanet direct imaging community

By SpaceRef Editor
December 22, 2020
Filed under ,

Lucie Leboulleux, Élodie Choquet, Elsa Huby, Garima Singh, Faustine Cantalloube

Astronomy and science are fields in which specific groups remain under-represented despite multiple studies that investigate this issue and propose solutions. In this article, we analyze the demographics and social behavior of the exoplanet direct imaging community. Our focus is on identifying possible under-representation among this group, and quantifying inappropriate social behaviors. During the Spirit of Lyot conference 2019 (Tokyo, Japan), we conducted a survey that gathered a participation rate of 53\%. We analyzed the data collected under the prisms of gender balance and seniority representation. The proportions of women and of non-binary persons reveal a more diverse community in comparison to the other scientific groups (e.g. the IAU members), but still far from a balanced representation of all genders. Early-career scientists appear to have a lower visibility in the field than permanent researchers, with PhD students being under-represented at international conferences, and postdocs being excluded from conference Science Organizing Committees. Regarding social relations, the results are alarming, in particular when it comes to self-censoring of women or to unprofessional behavior, which was experienced by 54\% of this community (gender-biased behavior: 29\%; oral interruption: 33\%; inappropriate behavior: 33\%), and in particular by women. We recommend the community to become pro-active to build a safe environment and to continue its inclusion efforts. One aspect could be to systematically include socio-demographic surveys in conference registration forms to monitor the evolution of the community, in particular at larger scales. To do so, the survey questions available on GitHub.

Comments: 17 pages, 14 figures

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Cite as: arXiv:2012.11494 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2012.11494v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)

Submission history

From: Lucie Leboulleux 

[v1] Mon, 21 Dec 2020 17:09:28 UTC (2,074 KB)

SpaceRef staff editor.