Intersectional inequalities in science

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The US scientific workforce is primarily composed of White men. Studies have demonstrated the systemic barriers preventing women and other minoritized populations from gaining entry to science; few, however, have taken an intersectional perspective and examined the consequences of these inequalities on scientific knowledge. We provide a large-scale bibliometric analysis of the relationship between intersectional identities, topics, and scientific impact. We find homophily between identities and topic, suggesting a relationship between diversity in the scientific workforce and expansion of the knowledge base. However, topic selection comes at a cost to minoritized individuals for whom we observe both between- and within-topic citation disadvantages. To enhance the robustness of science, research organizations should provide adequate resources to historically underfunded research areas while simultaneously providing access for minoritized individuals into high-prestige networks and topics.

This content has been updated on January 6th, 2022 at 11 h 10 min.