Women's History Month

Share This


Women have always been essential and vital to the physical sciences, and they have helped to mold our fields from the very beginning. The work of luminaries such as Marie Curie, Lisa Meitner, Rosalind Frank, Chien-Shiung Wu and countless other women have formed foundational knowledge that continues to drive our understanding of the universe forward and advance the collective scholarship of our fields.

Despite this, in 2020, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to the fourth woman ever, Andrea Ghez, for her role in discovering a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The other three women who have received a Nobel Prize in Physics since its inception in 1901 have been Donna Strickland (2018), Maria Goeppert Mayer (1963), and Marie Curie (1903).

We can do better.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are essential components to the success of our fields. In recognition of that fact, AIP adopted a Strategic Framework in 2019 that aims to “advance the physical sciences with a unifying voice of strength from diversity.” Further, we are committed to becoming an institution that “leads the physical sciences community toward an impactful understanding of how to be more welcoming to, and supportive of, the full diversity of physical scientists throughout their [education and] careers.”

Also in 2019, the AIP Board of Directors passed a Resolution on Diversity in Member Society Volunteer Appointments.

During March, AIP is committing itself to highlighting resources and materials that celebrate the accomplishments of women in science. We want to elevate their experiences, and we hope to inform and inspire in the process. Be sure to follow our social channels, @AIP_HQ, @AIP_TEAMUP@Michael_AIP, @AIP_Library@AIP_History@SPSNational@AIP_Stats@PhysicsToday@InsideScience, and join in on the conversation.

Statistical Research Center

Representation of Women Among Physics Bachelors and PhDs
Women's and Men's Career Choices in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Women in Physics and Astronomy
2019 Report on Women in Physics and Astronomy
Challenges Facing Women in Physics

Physics Today

Feature article "Gender Matters" from March 2018 issue of Physics Today
The award rejection that shook astronomy
The Royal Society’s first woman physicist
Marie Curie and her fellow scientists
Snapshots from the life of Cécile DeWitt-Morette
Q&A: Helen Czerski on the fun of physics
Q&A: The law-trained physicist turned movie technician
Q&A: Lisa Messeri on how space rocks become places
Mildred Dresselhaus (1930–2017)
What it took to be a NASA computer
Vera Rubin in the pages of Physics Today
A pseudo-astronaut works on getting her feet back on—and off—the ground
High-energy lab has high-energy director
A conversation with incoming NAS president Marcia McNutt
Questions and answers with Adrienne Kolb
Questions and answers with Mary K. Gaillard
Electricity in the novels of George Eliot
A calling for gravitational waves
Following the fun
Breaking the glass ceiling of 20th-century astronomy
Sarah Frances Whiting and the "photography of the invisible"


Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act - H.R.36 / S.1067
21st Century STEM for Girls and Underrepresented Minorities Act - H.R.1591 / S.1299
Building Blocks of STEM Act - H.R.1665 / S.737
STEM Opportunities Act - H.R. 2528 / S. 2579
Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act - H.R. 4528 / S.2578
Women in STEM Panel Calls for More Agency Action
France Córdova Reflects on Her Tenure as NSF Director


Society of Physics Students

Statement on Diversity and Inclusion
Word cloud showing what it’s like to be a woman in physics based on responses from our undergrads
Reflection on CUWiP ’16 with good quotes
Promoting Women in Science: A Conversation with Marcia McNutt
Understanding and Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Physics
A Trans Woman’s Journey in Physics
Caribbean Engineer Energizes Cornell
Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell: No asking, just telling


Center for History of Physics and Niels Bohr Library & Archives

Teaching guides on women in physics
Emilio Segrè Visual Archives photographs of women in science
Oral history interviews on women in physics
Physics History Network biographical entries on women physicists
Melba Phillips papers blog post
Melba Phillips papers (digital collections)
Staff book recommendation: Radium Girls

Archival Collections
Elizabeth Rebecca Laird papers, 1897-1959
Nancy Grace Roman papers, 1931-1993
Nancy Grace Roman addition to papers, 1934-2006
Nancy Grace Roman addition to papers 1935-2010
Melba Phillips papers blog post
Papers (digital collections)

Photos of the Month
Perspectives from Oak Ridge: the female perspective of life in Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Early Nobel Prize Nominees: women who were nominated, but never received, the Nobel Prize in Physics between 1901 and 1966
Happy Mother’s Day from ESVA!
Pioneers in Physics Her-story
Celebrating the Life and Accomplishments of Lise Meitner
Ada Lovelace: The First Computer Programmer

Library (book) resources
Staff Book Recommendation: Radium Girls