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Membership in the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is the hallmark of a successful career in scientific research, and is reserved for an elite few. The majority of National Academies members are men. Rumors abound that the increasing average age of new members over the last decade coincides with the aging of current members, who have advocated for their friends and fellow cohort males to join the ultimate “old boy’s club.” In 2011, the NAS elected only 9 women out of 72 new members. Outraged at the gender disparity and determined to demonstrate what adequate representation would look like, AWIS released a projection of the population of eligible women in the expected age demographic -- which was nearly double the percentage of female inductees. Public outcry ensued, and it seems the National Academies was paying attention. AWIS continues to track the annual admission rates for men and women relative to the available pools of candidates based on those of the appropriate age window holding PhDs.

Number of Male and Female Members Elected to NAS Annually (1994 - 2014)


Expected vs. Elected Members of the NAS (1994-2014)

Projected Representative Population of Elected Members by Discipline, Based on PhDs Earned by Women 20 Yrs Prior

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Association for Women in Science
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