Amy Smith (Imperial)

Participation and awarding gaps in physics: the role of social norms

Abstract: Despite years of interventions, physics remains one the subjects most underrepresented by women, people of colour and those from a working class background. Research shows that pervasive stereotypes about physics act as a barrier to belonging for underrepresented groups, yet social norms within the context of studying physics, which have the power to influence behavioural decisions, are under-researched. This talk will present an overview of educational research into participation and awarding gaps in physics and present on findings from a longitudinal PhD study into what social norms exist in a physics department and how these may influence student behaviour and their ability to be authentic.