–Above photo by Clifford Johnson
“I also benefitted from the environment at Aspen in that a high fraction of the participants of the Local Group workshop were women. I came to Aspen from an institute with no other female postdocs or faculty in the field of astronomy. Although I felt very happy and comfortable at my home institute, I appreciated being in an environment with a high concentration of accomplished female scientists.”

Committee for Participant Diversity


The Aspen Center for Physics is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. The Center does not discriminate based on personal factors including (but not limited to) race, color, national or ethnic origin, alienage, age, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, political affiliation or philosophy, disability, or veteran's status. In its programs, on its campus, and among its participants and staff, the Center will not tolerate actions that constitute discrimination or harassment.

Each summer workshop has an organizer appointed to ensure maximum diversity. The ACP formed the Committee on Participant Diversity in 1996 as a standing committee of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Aspen Center for Physics. It serves as a resource for the Center's officers, general members and workshop organizers to help the Center fulfill its goal of increasing participation by physicists belonging to traditionally under-represented groups.

Visit our Inclusion page to learn a few of the ways the Center welcomes a diverse population.

Current Chair

Graciela Gelmini (Chair)
Please feel free to contact the committee with questions related to participant diversity at the Aspen Center for Physics.

Suggestions for Workshop Organizers (From Past Organizers)

Past workshop organizers have tried a variety of approaches. Our overarching suggestion is that you think about recruiting a diverse applicant pool from the time you begin to identify the participants you hope to attract to your workshop.

Here are the efforts reported to have been most effective:
  • advertise the workshop as widely as possible
  • send a workshop announcement to the WIPHYS mailing list. It reaches about 750 subscribers.Their email address is wiphys@aps.org.
  • use direct e-mail and phone calls to contact physicists from under-represented groups (less-established researchers, women,  minorities)
  • send follow-up reminder e-mails (or phone calls) as the  application deadline approaches
  • consider diversity in constructing the admissions recommendation list from among the qualified applicants
  • explicitly mention the ACP diversity policy in announcements advertising the workshop
  • obtain names of active researchers from under-represented groups by looking at mailing lists from previous conferences in the field and by asking colleagues for names
  • consider researchers in sub-fields closely related to, but not 100% overlapping with the workshop topic
  • consider contacting some of the physicists from under-represented groups individually; this can be an opportunity to let them know a little about the Center if they've not attended in the past; some organizers have found this helps
  • look at the best practices for recruitment at the APS Minorities in Physics website
  • include a sentence mentioning Aspen's daycare in your initial message to potential workshop applicants. Otherwise, physicists with young children may assume that attending the Center just isn't possible for them

Finally, please let the Committee on Participant Diversity know what you tried and what appeared to help.

Sources of Names of Qualified Physicists from Under–Represented Groups

If you have trouble finding appropriate names, contact our committee; we will either suggest names or put you in contact with a physicist who can do so.

Other Resources

  • The home page of the APS Committee on Minorities in Physics .
  • The home page of the APS Committee on the Status of Women in Physics .