(Press-News.org) Results from a new survey of astronomers and geophysicists show that these sciences have a systemic bullying problem; one that is disproportionately worse for women and those from minority groups. In a survey carried out by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) last year of over 650 people in the field, 44% of respondents had suffered bullying and harassment in the workplace within the preceding 12 months. Aine O'Brien, RAS Diversity Officer, will present the key results in a talk at the virtual National Astronomy Meeting on Thursday 22 July.
Key initial findings show:
Disabled, and Black and minority ethnic astronomers and geophysicists are 40% more likely to be bullied than their non-disabled and White colleagues respectively.
Women and non-binary people in the field are 50% more likely than men to be bullied and harassed.
50% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer astronomers and geophysicists were bullied in the last 12 months, and 12% of bisexual astronomers reported being bullied at least once a week.
The RAS Committee on Diversity in Astronomy and Geophysics commissioned the survey, and O'Brien and Dr Sheila Kanani, the Royal Astronomical Society Education, Outreach and Diversity Officer, carried out the survey for the Society and analysed its findings.
O'Brien said: "This is the first time data like these have been collected in our field. It's bleak, sadly somewhat unsurprising, but is unequivocal evidence to show we need to improve the workplace culture in academia. We have a well-reported diversity problem in STEM and this does nothing to help. Women and minorities are feeling pushed out."
Professor Emma Bunce, RAS President said: "The results from the survey are very concerning indeed, and we must act to change this unacceptable situation. The RAS is doing important work to uncover these facts, and we are committed to working alongside the community to urgently improve the environment in astronomy and geophysics"
Dr Natasha Stephen, Chair of the RAS Committee for Diversity in Astronomy & Geophysics (CDAG), said: "Our RAS community is increasingly diverse, yet far from equitable. This survey highlights the disparity in lived experience across our global community, and paints a worrying picture of the way in which those from marginalised communities are often treated. We acknowledge that these largely intersectional issues cannot be solved overnight, but CDAG will work with RAS fellows and the wider field to understand and tackle these systemic problems."
The data were collected as part of a wider survey covering experiences of suffering and witnessing bullying and harassment, as well as workplace culture, in astronomy and geophysics. The full survey results will be published by the RAS later this summer.
Dr Robert Massey
Royal Astronomical Society
Mob: +44 (0)7802 877 699
Dr Morgan Hollis
Royal Astronomical Society
Mob: +44 (0)7802 877 700
Royal Astronomical Society
Mob: +44 (0)7756 034 243
PR and Media Manager
University of Bath
Tel: +44 (0)1225 383 135
Royal Astronomical Society
Dr Natasha Stephen
Chair, RAS Committee for Diversity in Astronomy & Geophysics
Notes for editors
About the National Astronomy Meeting
The Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2021) will take place online from 19 - 23 July 2021. Bringing together around 800 astronomers and space scientists, the conference is the largest annual professional astronomy and space science event in the UK, and sees leading researchers from around the world presenting their latest work.
NAM 2021 incorporates the annual meetings of the Magnetosphere Ionosphere Solar-Terrestrial (MIST) and UK Solar Physics (UKSP) groups. The conference is principally sponsored by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the University of Bath.
Follow NAM 2021 on Twitter
About the Royal Astronomical Society
The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), founded in 1820, encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science. The RAS organises scientific meetings, publishes international research and review journals, recognises outstanding achievements by the award of medals and prizes, maintains an extensive library, supports education through grants and outreach activities and represents UK astronomy nationally and internationally. Its more than 4,000 members (Fellows), a third based overseas, include scientific researchers in universities, observatories and laboratories as well as historians of astronomy and others.
Follow the RAS on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube
Download the RAS Supermassive podcast
About the Science and Technology Facilities Council
The Science and Technology Facilities Council is part of UK Research and Innovation - the UK body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. STFC funds and supports research in particle and nuclear physics, astronomy, gravitational research and astrophysics, and space science and also operates a network of five national laboratories as well as supporting UK research at a number of international research facilities including CERN, FERMILAB and the ESO telescopes in Chile. STFC is keeping the UK at the forefront of international science and has a broad science portfolio and works with the academic and industrial communities to share its expertise in materials science, space and ground-based astronomy technologies, laser science, microelectronics, wafer scale manufacturing, particle and nuclear physics, alternative energy production, radio communications and radar.
STFC's Astronomy and Space Science programme provides support for a wide range of facilities, research groups and individuals in order to investigate some of the highest priority questions in astrophysics, cosmology and solar system science. STFC's astronomy and space science programme is delivered through grant funding for research activities, and also through support of technical activities at STFC's UK Astronomy Technology Centre and RAL Space at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. STFC also supports UK astronomy through the international European Southern Observatory.
Follow STFC on Twitter
About the University of Bath
The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities both in terms of research and our reputation for excellence in teaching, learning and graduate prospects.
The University is rated Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the Government's assessment of teaching quality in universities, meaning its teaching is of the highest quality in the UK.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 research assessment 87 per cent of our research was defined as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'. From developing fuel efficient cars of the future, to identifying infectious diseases more quickly, or working to improve the lives of female farmers in West Africa, research from Bath is making a difference around the world. Find out more
Well established as a nurturing environment for enterprising minds, Bath is ranked highly in all national league tables. We are ranked 6th in the UK by The Guardian University Guide 2021, and 9th in The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 and 10th in the Complete University Guide 2021. Our sports offering was rated as being in the world's top 10 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject in 2021.
Remote 24-hour monitoring for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy helps to better manage side effects and improve quality of life, finds a study published by The BMJ today.
The researchers say remote monitoring can provide a safe, secure, and "real time" system that optimises symptom management and supports patients to remain at home - and is particularly relevant in the context of the covid-19 pandemic.
Effective symptom monitoring and management is essential during chemotherapy for cancer, but current approaches rely on patients recognising that symptoms are severe ...
Two years on from its pledge to make England smoke free by 2030, the UK government has failed to deliver on the policies it promised to deliver this ambition, say a group of leading doctors, professional bodies and charities in The BMJ today.
In an open letter to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for health, they say smoking is likely to have killed more people last year than covid-19 and it will carry on doing so for many years to come unless the government takes action.
They call for a US-style 'polluter pays' levy on tobacco manufacturers to fund the strategy, saying "the time has come to make the tobacco manufacturers pay to end the epidemic they and they alone have caused."
The rate of decline in smoking in the years leading up to 2019 was not sufficient to deliver ...
A new approach to analysing the development of magnetic tangles on the Sun has led to a breakthrough in a longstanding debate about how solar energy is injected into the solar atmosphere before being released into space, causing space weather events. The first direct evidence that field lines become knotted before they emerge at the visible surface of the Sun has implications for our ability to predict the behaviour of active regions and the nature of the solar interior. Dr Christopher Prior of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Durham University, will present the work today at the ...
A new study by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital examined the relationship between active lifestyles and the risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The study followed around 130,000 men and women in the United States over a follow-up period of 10-to-18 years and found that higher levels of physical activity and lower levels of sedentary behavior were associated with a lower risk of OSA. Their results are published in the European Respiratory Journal.
"In our study, higher levels of physical activity and fewer hours of TV watching, and sitting either at work or away from home ...
Not enough progress has been made to address physical inactivity worldwide, with adolescents and people living with disabilities (PLWD) among the least likely populations to have the support needed to meet the World Health Organization (WHO)'s physical activity guidelines. Global efforts to improve physical activity have stalled, with overall deaths caused by physical activity remaining at more than 5 million people per year. 
Physical inactivity is linked to an increased risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers and costs at least $54 billion per year in direct health care costs of which $31 billion is paid by the public sector. The slow progress to improve physical activity worldwide ...
Alexandria, Va., USA - The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) announced David Williams, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK, as the 2021 recipient of the IADR Gold Medal Award. Williams was recognized during the Opening Ceremonies of the virtual 99th General Session & Exhibition of the IADR, held in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 45th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), on July 21-24, 2021.
Williams is a Professor of Global Oral Health at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK. He is currently Co-Chair ...
Evidence of the sustained benefits of an investigational antipsychotic treatment for people with dementia-related psychosis has been published.
Up to half of the 45 million people worldwide who are living with Alzheimer's disease will experience psychotic episodes, a figure that is even higher in some other forms of dementia. Psychosis is linked to a faster deterioration in dementia.
Despite this, there is no approved safe and effective treatment for these particularly distressing symptoms. In people with dementia, widely-used antipsychotics lead to sedation, falls and increased risk of deaths.
Pimavanserin works by blocking serotonin 5HT2A ...
EAST LANSING, Mich. - In the wild, inheriting advantageous physical traits may be the difference between a long life and a short one. But for the spotted hyena, another kind of inheritance, one that has nothing to do with genetics, turns out to be extremely important for health and longevity -- social networks inherited from their mothers.
A new study, based on 27 years of observational data from Michigan State University Distinguished Professor Kay Holekamp, expands a previously established theoretical model of spotted hyena social networking to show how these networks emerge, how long they last and how they affect a hyena's life trajectory.
The paper is featured as the front cover for the journal Science.
Two recently published studies available on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website indicate Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) reactivation may play a role both in the development of long COVID symptoms, as well as severe COVID-19 cases.
The first evidence linking EBV reactivation to long COVID symptoms was discovered by Gold et al. (2021) and published in Pathogens. This study can be viewed on the NIH website here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8233978/
"We ran Epstein-Barr virus serological tests on COVID-19 patients at least 90 days after testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection, comparing EBV ...
Alexandria, Va., USA - Walter Siqueira, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, presented the poster "Self-collected Saliva and Courier Service - A Feasible Diagnostic Strategy for COVID-19" at the virtual 99th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 45th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), on July 21-24, 2021.
Saliva has been proposed as a convenient and cost-effective biofluid for diagnostic purposes and in vitro studies have shown that the addition of stabilizers to saliva preserves it for up to 7-10 days at room temperature, but its translational application ...