Edmund Bertschinger

Professor of Physics, MIT; Co-chair, TEAM-UP

Ed Bertschinger is a Professor of Physics at MIT with an affiliation in the MIT Program in Women’s and Gender Studies. He is a scholar-activist-administrator for diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. Ed served as MIT’s inaugural Community and Equity Officer from 2013–2018 and has served on numerous national committees and task forces on equity in physics and astronomy, including co-chair of the AIP TEAM UP Task Force. During 2007–2013 he was Physics Department Head at MIT. He is a theoretical astrophysicist whose research lies in cosmology, gravitation, and numerical methods, and whose passion lies in shifting the culture of STEM fields to be inclusive and equitable for everyone. He is a Fellow of both the APS and the AAAS and has won the MIT MLK Leadership Award, the Outstanding Freshman Advisor Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and many other awards.

Talk title

Systemic Change: TEAM-UP and Beyond

Abstract

The TEAM-UP report identifies the structural and systemic causes explaining why African Americans have not experienced the growth in bachelor’s degrees in physics the way they have in other fields or as other minority groups have experienced in physics over the past two decades. Solving these problems requires changing not only the way physicists train students, but how they think about training students. Research on change in higher education suggests the need for physicists and astronomers to recognize and question the norms, values, and culture of their fields. The TEAM-UP report, SEA Change, and the new APS-IDEA all seek to stimulate and sustain a cultural transformation in the profession.