Hundreds of researchers have signed a statement rejecting claims made by an Italian physicist, during a talk at Europe’s particle physics laboratory Cern, that women are less capable physicists than men.
The High Energy Physics Community Statement dismisses arguments made by Alessandro Strumia, a particle physicist at the University of Pisa, during a presentation at a workshop on gender hosted by Cern on 28 September. The statement’s authors describe his arguments as both “morally reprehensible” and containing significant “scientific shortcomings”.
“Strumia argues that since the most cited papers are disproportionately by men, this gives evidence that men are intrinsically better at physics,” the statement says. “In between intrinsic ability and citation counting however, there is the huge and complicated process of how physicists are raised, trained, hired, and perceived.”