Project Details A Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical and Natural Sciences: how to measure it, how to reduce it? - IUPACs Role in ICSU parent project

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Start Date:
15 February 2017
End Date:
Division Name:
Executive Committee
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This project covers IUPAC’s contributions to the ICSU Project “A Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical and Natural Sciences: how to measure it, how to reduce it?” granted in Feb 2017.

To encourage girls and young women to study and work in science, we will conduct a global survey on female scientists and mathematicians covering background, career, experiences, and attitudes about gender. Results will enable recommendations for stakeholders (e.g., scientific unions, educators, scientists, especially persons in the developing world regions) by identifying key variables shaping women’s experiences in science.

This joint project involves: International Mathematics Union (lead 1), IUPAC (lead 2), IUPAP, IAU, and IUBS as supporting Unions to collaborate on the global survey and a joint study on publication patterns.

The survey will be partly based on the 2011 IUPAP global physicist survey expanded to include chemistry, astronomy and mathematics.

VISIT public website


IUPAC’s role in the overall ICSU project is the development and execution of a global survey, and assistance in interpreting and disseminating results, recommendations, and analysis.

Year 1:
The project will first develop test items of the survey based on IUPAP’s previous survey for global physicists. Some of the original questions will be kept so as to enable cross-field comparison of the data and perhaps also longitudinal studies later. Experts will be invited to help in this review of existing test items and the drafting of new test items. Survey items will all be tested and validated. The specific tasks include regional office workshops and preparation of the questionnaire. Project experts are knowledgeable of other surveys of scientists conducted in national and regional settings.

Year 2:
After the survey has been completed, regional organizations will be asked to help disseminate the survey to female scientists in their respective regions. Data analysis will then follow, utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The specific tasks include distribution and collection of data, and initial data analysis. Also, the task group will contribute some source materials about good practices for girls and women in science to a database.

Year 3:
The task group will be responsible for working on the response translation, data cleaning, global, regional and country data analysis. Results of the survey will be organized and drafted into academic papers for publication and dissemination.


Feb 2017 updates – The project benefits of CCE support and expertise.
ICSU announces the 2017 grants award to launch multi-year initiatives in science outreach and education – see ICSU announcement.

May 2017 – Project announcement published in Chem. Int. Apr 2017, pp. 19-20;

June 2017 – Kick-off meeting in Paris
Group photo during day 1 of the workshop at UNESCO, June 3rd.

(From left to right)
1st row from bottom:
Jean Taylor, Sayara Berg, Danielle Gondard-Cozette, Mustafa Sozbilir, Igle Gledhill, Marie-Francoise Ouedraogo, Anne-Sophie Godfroy, L.S.Shashidhara, Bétül Tambay, Ernesto Fernández-Polcuch

2nd row from bottom:
Maria Esteban, Siujatha Ramdorai, Mei-Hung Chiu, Guadalupe Lozano, Anathea Brooks, Francesca Primas, Lucilla Spini, Maria Rosaria Dantonio, Catherine Goldstein, Merrilyn Goos, Helena Mihaljevic-Brandt

3rd row from bottom:
Mark Cesa, Alice Abreu, Clémence Perronnet, Nathalie Fomproix, Marie-Francoise Roy, Elena Bagryanskaya, Benedikt Loewe, Bill Barton

Top row:
Lucía Santamaría, Lisa Frehill, Silvina Ponce-Dawson, Tonya Blowers, Fernanda Arraes Hertelendy, Rachel Ivie


July 2017 – Launch of the project public website


Nov 2017 – A progress report for the Gender Gap project was presented by Mei-Hung Chiu and Marie-Francoise Roy (IMU) at the ICSU GA in Taipei, Taiwan, on October 24, 2017. Participants at the assembly provided useful input and positive comments to the project and recognized the values of carrying out such a study for the promotion of gender equity and equality in the world. [Read more]

The first of the three regional workshops took place at the National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), Taipei, Taiwan, on November 7-8, 2017. A total of 38 delegates from 12 countries (Australia, China, France India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, and USA) representing 9 unions (IMU, IUPAC, IUPAP, IAU, ICIAM, IHUPST, UNESCO, IUBS, and ACM) were present in the workshop. See report at


May 2018 – Survey initiated. Participation will be open from 1 May until 31 October 2018.

August 2018 – See feature in CI July 2018, pp 14-17,

March 2019 – Follow progress at
Registration to the final meeting of the Gender Gap in Science Project is now open. I will taking place at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste on 4-8 November 2019. The registration will be closed on August 2.

Page last updated 13 March 2019 – happy PiDay!