First, Freeman and Huang used a name analysis system to categorize the authors of scientific papers, noting that the number of authors of science papers in the Thompson Reuters Web of Science database demonstrates decreased homophily (aka, "increased diversity"). In 1985, 57% of the authors had Anglo names. But, by 2008 homophily in scientific studies fell to 46%, as other groups--most notably those of Chinese ethnicity--became more prominent. Still, that's a homophily rate of 56%!
Second, Freeman and Huang examined articles published in more than 12k journals, focusing on those having two to four authors with U.S. addresses. Their rationale was that not all scientists have the wherewithal to attend international conferences, where they might make connections leading to co-authorship with those outside the U.S. (Their analysis of articles with up to 10 co-authors yielded similar results.)
Third, Freeman and Huang calculated the odds of co-authorship sharing the same nationality names. The startling finding: Homophily was present beyond what would be expected had co-authors been randomly selected.
Although American science has become more diverse and inclusive in recent decades as people born outside the United States (or their children) have advanced in numerous disciplines, scientists continue to allow homophily to infect their research as they fail to work together across ethnic and national backgrounds. That said, Freeman and Huang suggest that scientists who overcome homophily may produce the most influential science.
All of this homophily is being exposed just as a major theoretical chemistry conference--the 2015 International Congress of Quantum Chemistry Conference in Beijing--is scheduled to feature yet once again an all-male program. In response, a petition is calling for a boycott of the conference, highlighting what its authors view as the persistent, if unintentional, sexism in academe and in the physical sciences in particular.
Sadly, some female chemists are now feeling "fatigue frustration" and are sick of alerting conference organizers privately who, in turn, patch the program by adding a few female speakers (often after the program has been released), and then, are attacked and chastised for being pushy...only to have the same narrative repeat itself as the next conference is being organized.
All of this homophily and misogyny among scientists in 2014. Who'd have thunk scientists were such a bunch of Cretins? It's time to toss aside that archaic notion "freedom of association." Diversity, inclusion, and quotas are where it's at, man!
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Abstract of the Freeman and Huang's homophily study, click on the following link:
To read about the misogyny at the 2015 International Congress of Quantum Chemistry Conference in Beijing, click on the following link: