Diversity at Physics and Astronomy

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Diversity & Inclusion are important to us in Physics & Astronomy. Different perspectives are valuable as some see things that others don’t. That’s critical to advance our understanding of the universe. There are many efforts in the department to make Physics & Astronomy more inclusive and welcoming for all members, including a faculty committee and student groups.

Diversity & Inclusion Faculty Committee

The faculty committee listens to and learns from the experiences of undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, staff, faculty, and visitors to our department. We coordinate efforts to improve diversity & inclusion in the Physics & Astronomy department.


" "Diversity & Inclusion in Physics @ Penn is a graduate student led group which strives to make the physics community more inclusive and welcoming for all members, starting with our own department. We aim to teach awareness of the lack of diversity in physics and the forms of discrimination that are often faced by minorities in STEM fields, as well as the resulting impact on scientists and their work. Our goal is to educate ourselves on how to combat these challenges and create a community of respect and inclusivity within the department. We also work with the department and other diversity groups within the university to implement practical changes.

DIP hosts monthly events throughout the academic year including workshops, visiting speakers, reading groups, and discussion forums. Past events have covered topics such as women in STEM, LGBTQ+ inclusivity, microaggressions, and mental health. All articles and presentations from past events are all available here: https://sites.google.com/view/dip-penn/events.

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APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP)

We are excited that the American Physical Society (APS) has selected the University of Pennsylvania as one of the host sites for this CUWiP conference, which will take place on January 19 – 21, 2024.

The primary goal of this three-day conference is to help undergraduate women thrive in physics. We aim to provide the opportunity to experience a professional conference, gather information about graduate school and professions in physics, and network with a diverse set of physicists of all ages, race and gender, with whom you can share experiences, advice and ideas.

The CUWiP program includes research talks, panel discussions about graduate school and careers in physics, workshops and discussions, student research talks and poster sessions, and laboratory tours.  Meals, coffee breaks, a gala dinner, and conference housing are additional opportunities for new friendships, and to strengthen your identity as a physics person. 

The keynote presentation will be given by Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford. She was responsible for the discovery of pulsars while a radio astronomy graduate student in Cambridge and has subsequently worked in gamma ray, X-ray, infrared and millimetre wavelength astronomy.

Please apply now! We welcome applications from people across the entire gender spectrum, and the spectrum of interests in science including physics and related disciplines. https://web.sas.upenn.edu/cuwip-2024/

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions: cuwip2024upenn@gmail.com


Women in Physics

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Founded in 2013, the Women in Physics Club at Penn aims to advance women in the scholarly and professional pursuit of Physics and related scientific fields. We connect undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and industry professionals in a supportive community based on honesty, fellowship, and mentorship. We host social events and host an annual public lecture featuring a celebrated female physicist. WiP invites students of all gender identities who support the advancement of women in physics to join.