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COLLEGE PARK, MD, September 1, 2020 — The American Physical Society (APS) is pleased to announce a new consortium of physics departments, laboratories, and research collaborations committed to improving equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). By establishing a community of transformation, the APS Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Alliance (APS-IDEA) will address long-standing, systemic barriers that have led to a gross underrepresentation of marginalized groups in physics.
The APS-IDEA network is composed of nearly 100 institutions across the United States and around the world. With support from the APS Innovation Fund, the program provides a flexible platform for physics organizations to work together to become more inclusive of all social identities, reflect the diversity of the nation, and ensure equal distribution of opportunities and resources. The participating institutions recently met during two virtual workshops.
According to the American Institute of Physics National Task Force to Elevate African American Representation in Undergraduate Physics & Astronomy (TEAM-UP), less than 4% of bachelor’s degrees in physics are awarded to African Americans and only 21% are awarded to women. The underrepresentation of these and other excluded groups, such as the LGBTQ+ community and ethnic minorities, is the result of a complex system of discrimination, harassment, and lack of a supportive environment that together erode these individuals’ sense of belonging.
APS has long expressed its commitment to promoting an inclusive workplace (1988), protecting individuals from discrimination (2000), and fostering diversity (2008). The Society has also categorically condemned racism, racial violence, and sexual harassment. During an APS webinar held in June, a panel of physicists called on the community to translate passion into action. APS-IDEA was established to catalyze collective change by empowering individual research institutions to apply evidence-based practices to increase EDI among their own students and scientists.
The following institutions have been accepted into the APS-IDEA Network:
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The American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 55,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, Maryland (Headquarters), Ridge, New York, and Washington, DC