08.2 Statement on Diversity in Physics

Physicists must make the field more inclusive to ensure a robust future for science and technology in the United States, drawing on the many varied voices and talents in our diverse society. APS recognizes that the health of the physics discipline is best served by addressing the equally important goals of improving access to opportunities in physics to the betterment of all people, while also engaging the vast intellectual potential that resides in groups underrepresented in physics.

Accordingly, APS members, and the physics community more broadly, should work to increase the numbers of members from underrepresented groups in physics at all career stages. Barriers to participation in physics by underrepresented groups, although not always explicit, remain strong and pervasive. APS members are encouraged to become familiar with the barriers to improved representation [1-4], to take active roles in organizational and institutional efforts to bring about such change, and to encourage and support others engaged in this kind of activity.

Specific actions include:

  • Fostering a sense of inclusion and belonging for all members of the physics community
  • Endeavoring to identify, address, and eliminate bias in all its forms: implicit/unconscious, explicit, and systemic
  • Providing mechanisms for institutional support
  • Providing expansive employment opportunities, ensuring that candidate pools are diverse, and enacting inclusive hiring practices
  • Providing effective mentoring

Moreover, APS urges policymakers, administrators, and managers at all levels to enact policies and allocate budgets that will foster greater diversity in physics. APS also calls upon employers to pursue recruitment, retention, and promotion of individuals from underrepresented groups at all ranks and to create a work environment that fosters equity and inclusion. APS calls upon the physics community as a whole to work collectively to bring greater diversity wherever physicists are educated or employed. APS will continue to support these efforts through programs, policies, partnerships, and directed activities.

[1] AIP TEAM-UP Report format_pdf
[2] APS Gender Equity Report format_pdf
[3] APS LGBT Climate in Physics Report format_pdf
[4] Physics Today: “Community heightens attention to accessibility for physicists with disabilities”

Revision Approved by the Council on June 7, 2023 
Adopted by the Council on November 16, 2008
Category: Human Rights

APS Statements

APS Statements are public policy statements that undergo a meticulous process of draft and review, including receiving comments from APS members, before being voted on by APS Council at one of its semiannual meetings. The review process for APS statements may be started at anytime if deemed necessary by the Panel on Public Affairs, and at least once every 5 years.