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5-8 October 2020
US/Central timezone
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Snowmass as a path towards cultural change, and the role of collaborations

Not scheduled



Kelly Stifter (Stanford University)


The field of physics has largely failed to provide equitable opportunity to all who have the desire to perform physics research. This is evident in many ways, for example: the underrepresentation of many identity groups in the physics community, and the nearly 75% of undergraduate women in physics who report some form of sexual harassment. Iniquities also exist in society at large, but as physicists, we have an obligation to address the iniquities particular to our field. This is becoming especially relevant as our scientific collaborations continue to grow. Many collaborations have started to rise to the occasion and begun implementing a wide range of initiatives to improve their individual cultures.

These initiatives, while necessary, are not enough, as many issues transcend collaborations. Individual collaborations lack the resources and institutional infrastructure for meaningful enforcement of community standards; for example, they struggle with enforcing Codes of Conduct, which can further contribute to a culture of oppression.

We are not experts in the fields of race theory or sexual harassment, so we must turn to the guidance already laid out in the many summative reports by experts and calls to action by marginalized communities. Collaborations should draw on the recommendations in these reports and work towards more equitable cultures, and must also work with agencies, Universities, laboratories, and professional organizations to implement relevant best practices to effectively address cross-cutting issues.

The problem of inequity in our field will not solve itself. We must confront it every day, well into the future. Every collaboration should be grappling with these issues with the same energy with which they pursue their science. Through the Snowmass process, we have a more direct route to call for change. A long-range plan for HEP must include a plan for systemic and institutional changes to create more equitable and just communities.

Primary frontier topic Community Engagement Frontier

Primary authors

Kelly Stifter (Stanford University) Micah Buuck (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory) Kirsty Duffy (Fermilab) Alvine Kamaha (University at Albany) Hugh Lippincott (UCSB) Rachel Mannino (University of Wisconsin) Prof. Mark Messier (Indiana University) Kimberly Palladino (University of Wisconsin Madison) Dr Sally Shaw (UC Santa Barbara) Erica Smith (Indiana University)

Presentation Materials

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