Authorship: The study identifies the lack of diversity in the sciences


A study by the University of Vienna identifies the lack of diversity in the sciences. According to this, most of the publications in the leading environmental and nature conservation magazines come from male authors from English-speaking countries. In contrast, there are hardly any women or experts from the Global South.

For those who have been published in the specialty journal “Conservation Letters” a study Hat Pia Mas They analyzed about 1,000 authors who published between 1945 and 2019 most of the scientific papers in 13 leading journals in the field of ecology and nature conservation. Only 11 percent of these are women and 75 percent of the articles come from just five countries in the North of the world (USA, Great Britain, Australia, Germany, and Canada). In contrast, there are hardly any authors from India, China, and other densely populated regions of great importance for global nature conservation and sustainability.

A serious imbalance

“This huge imbalance in scientific authorship is extremely worrying, especially in the field of environment and nature conservation, where diverse perspectives are needed to solve global climate and environmental challenges,” Maas said in a broadcast from the University of Vienna. The biologist says the lack of diversity also affects the level of scientific management.

The study recommends that academic journals and societies make special efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the allocation of managerial positions. The academic career path must be assessed on the basis of a wide range of skills that go beyond publishing achievements. In addition, the study authors advocate structural changes to enhance parental leave and diversity among staff and co-authors, “in order to enhance the safety and protection of the scientific community.”

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