16 November 2019

AIP Adopts Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Richard Fienberg

Richard Fienberg American Astronomical Society

American Institute of Physics (AIP)


The AAS is a member of the American Institute of Physics (AIP), a federation of 10 Member Societies, 29 Affiliated Societies, the Society of Physics Students, and the Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society.

As noted on the AIP website, "AIP and its Member Societies are committed to promoting increased diversity, equity, and inclusion in the physical sciences. Research shows that diverse perspectives lead to better decision-making and better outcomes."

Recently, as part of its expanding program of diversity initiatives, AIP's Board of Directors adopted a new diversity statement. Here it is in its entirety:

AIP Diversity Statement


A core part of the AIP Strategic Framework adopted by the Institute’s Board of Directors in 2019 is to "advance the physical sciences with a unifying voice of strength from diversity" and to become an institution that “leads the physical sciences community toward an impactful understanding of how to be more welcoming to, and supportive of, the full diversity of physical scientists throughout their [education and] careers. The statement below expands upon those aspirations to describe AIP’s intentions for cultivating diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Institute and in the physical sciences.


AIP believes that the inclusion of diverse individuals within the physical sciences community is vitally important to the health and well-being of the scientific enterprise. Empirical evidence shows that diverse perspectives lead to better solutions to problems, better decision-making, and better outcomes. We understand that discrimination, exclusion, and inequity are ethically wrong and damaging, both to those affected and to the scientific community, squandering precious talent. Further, we believe that being ever mindful of diversity1 will enhance AIP’s understanding and responsiveness to the experiences and needs of our communities, thereby improving our ability to respond to the ever-changing environment of those we serve.

AIP recognizes that not all individuals or institutions are afforded equal access to resources, support, or opportunities; we believe that attention and commitment to equity within the scientific enterprise are absolutely necessary to enable the success of the individuals and institutions within our community.

Fostering equity and a sense of belonging for all who are a part of our community requires coordinated action and change across a broad range of institutions. As a federation of physical science professional societies, AIP embraces our unique opportunity and responsibility for advancing equity in our community.

AIP will learn from, support, and collaborate with its Member and Affiliate Societies to promote greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging across the physical sciences community. More specifically, AIP will seek to exemplify an institution committed to the principles of equity-mindedness2 consciously focused on achieving equitable outcomes for our colleagues and the communities we serve through all of the Institute’s policies, programs, and actions.

AIP is committed to establishing a workplace that serves as a model for collaboration, respect, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging by ensuring that these values are embodied in our practices for convening, volunteer recruitment and service, hiring, management, and retention. As part of our commitment to integrity, accountability, transparency, and openness, AIP will establish comprehensive policies and goals with respect to these issues and make them broadly known and accessible. AIP will actively and regularly evaluate its progress and solicit the feedback of its staff, Member Societies, and other stakeholders.

— AIP Board of Directors Approved, November 2019

1We define diversity broadly to include, among other dimensions, race, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, economic status, country of origin and citizenship, ethnic background, disability, career stage, and professional status.

2An equity-minded institution is conscious of and calls attention to deficiencies in historical and current policies that relate to diversity so that it may create accountability for its actions and better support all its constituents through careful self-scrutiny of its practices.