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Lucie de Nooij | NIKHEF | The Netherlands

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Powerchick

With the observation that there are fewer women in physics than men, the question is often raised how to “solve” this. But from a more metaphysical point of view (I am reading a book on philosophy) I think we should address this observation a little bit more careful. Is the low fraction of women a problem? And if so, do all problems need to be solved?

To start of with some numbers: in the master particle physics in the Nikhef there are yearly about twelve students of which typically two girls. In the master that started this September there is none. We are highly dependent on Poisson statistics: when the expected number of instances is two, there is a 14% change that the outcome is zero. So if you repeat this experiment six times (as we have done with this master now), the change that there is a girl in every year reduces to 42%. The scientist in me is now happy, but my girly side still would like more female colleagues.
I will for sure come back to this subject. Please read this very interesting presentation for more stats within ATLAS:
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