Female scholars more likely than male counterparts to be elected to prestigious US scientific societies, finds study

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'Female researchers in mathematics, psychology and economics are 3–15 times more likely to be elected as members of the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) or the American Academy of Arts and Sciences than are male counterparts who have similar publication and citation records, a study finds.

The paper finds that since 2019, female researchers have comprised around 40% of new members in both prestigious academies1. Historically, across disciplines in each academy, there have been substantially fewer female researchers than male ones. Before the 1980s, female members comprised less than 10% of total academy membership across all scientific fields.

Lead author David Card, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, says that the boost does not seem to be due to an analogous increase in the number of potentially qualified female candidates for membership.

In a statement to Nature, NAS president Marcia McNutt says that the NAS does not reserve a set number of places in each year’s election for female scientists or other under-represented researchers. Instead, she says that reforms to the NAS-membership nomination process have encouraged inclusion of a more-diverse group of scientists.'

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