In 2014, with help from friends and volunteers, I undertook a unique study of the gender ratios present in conference talks. We gathered data on the gender of both speakers and questioners from over 270 talks at the 223rd AAS meeting in Washington DC. Our goal is to better understand how and when people ask questions at scientific conferences, and to help define best-practices for conferences to ensure everyone can participate equally. This study has now been continued at many AAS meetings, and for astronomy conferences around the world, and is continuing in the hopes of helping find measurable ways

If you are attending/organizing an upcoming conference and wish to collect data to assist with this project, please email me!

Project Homepage:

Astronomy-Specific Results

Here are papers about this gender study in astronomy:

Similar Studies in Other Fields

  • N. Telis (Stanford) has been taking very similar data for genetics conferences since 2012. More information on this blog
  • A. Hinsley (Oxford) has published a paper on a very similar study carried out at a Conservation Biology conference. Paper is here
  • A. Carter (Montpellier) has a large study of nearly 250 seminars/conferences here