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We're not going to remain silent about the Strumias of this world

A group of mostly Spanish male and female physicists and physicists have expressed their rejection of Alessandro Strumia's repeated statements on women's access to his discipline, which have been harshly criticised for their lack of rigour. This letter is an initiative of the Association of Women Researchers and Technologists (AMIT).

Physicists and engineers at CERN have also criticized Strumia's false and sexist claims. In the picture, engineer Cristina Bahamonde, a nuclear and chemical engineer, working on the protection systems of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) / © CERN

Alessandro Strumia is an Italian physicist who has gained some notoriety, unfortunately, for his sexist comments on women who work in physics. In October 2018, he gave a talk at the scientific centre where he worked as a guest researcher, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (known as CERN), in which he made a number of sexist, unfounded claims.

He claimed that physics had been invented by men; that women are not as good at physics as men; that we are allocated more funds than we deserve for our quality as scientists; and that women obtain positions of power within the area of physics only because of our status as women.

Strumia said that physics had been invented by men and that we are allocated more funds than we deserve

He argued that there is no discrimination against us in the scientific area in which he and we work. Immediately, the networks were set on fire with comments from people, including many physicists, who were outraged by his words.

The Italian scientist then argued that his claims were based on his own research into the situation of women in fundamental physics. But those alleged gender studies he claims to have conducted, and from which he claims to have obtained the data to support his arguments, did not convince CERN, which, at the end of the research, withdrew his appointment as a visiting professor.

Before that, a letter, the “High Energy Physics Community Statement”, signed by more than 4,000 male and female physicists from this area of science, had been published, strongly criticizing Strumia's claims.

Disinformation disguised as science

The alleged data on which the physicist bases his claims have been repeatedly criticised for their lack of scientific rigour, but recently the journal Quantitative Science Studies (QSS) has decided to publish Strumia's article containing the research information on which he bases his sexist conclusions.

Prestigious scientific outlets, such as Science magazine, have echoed this story. One information scientist who has reviewed Strumia's article, Cassidy Sugimoto of Indiana University in the United States, says in Science that the article she has evaluated is “methodologically flawed” and “does not meet (scientific) standards.” But despite this, it will be published.

The alleged data on which the physicist bases his claims have been repeatedly criticised for their lack of scientific rigor

This is not an isolated event. The publication of Strumia's article reminds us of other recent events, this time unrelated to physics but having the same origin. For example, the statements of Polish far-right MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke who said in 2017: “Of course women should earn less because they are weaker, smaller and less intelligent.” Or recent statements by groups denying the existence of gender-based violence.

Although they seem to be about different things, they all have one thing in common: they are fighting against feminism and progress in ending gender discrimination.

No matter how hard the Strumias of this world try, we will not remain silent about these attempts to discredit our efforts to end inequality, nor about the slanders that try to conceal reality. We will never remain silent again.


  1. Profª. Pascuala García Martínez, Facultat de Física, Universitat de València.

  2. Profª. Pilar López Sancho, Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid – CSIC.

  3. Profª. Ana Xesus López Díaz, Escuela Politécnica Superior, Universidade da Coruña.

  4. Prof.ª. Mariam Tòrtola, Facultat de Física, Universitat de València.

  5. Prof.ª Carmen Ocal, Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC).

  6. Prof.ª Leonor Chico, Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid – CSIC.

  7. Carmen Carreras Béjar, PTU de la UNED, jubilada, Vicepresidenta de la División Enseñanza y Divulgación (DEDF) de la RSEF.

  8. Milagros F. Morcillo Arencibia, doctoranda Universidad de Córdoba.

  9. Dra. Julia Maldonado Valderrama. Departamento de Física Aplicada, Universidad de Granada.

  10. Prof. Alberto Martín Molina, Departamento de Física Aplicada e Instituto Carlos I de Física Teórica y Computacional, Universidad de Granada.

  11. Prof. Luis Viña, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

  12. Dra. Belén López-Miranda, Laboratorio Nacional de Fusión , CIEMAT.

  13. Prof. Daniel Alegre Castro, Laboratorio Nacional de Fusion, CIEMAT.

  14. Prof. Carlos Navarrete-Benlloch, Wilczek Quantum Center - Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

  15. Profª. Lina Rodríguez Rodrigo, Subdirectora General Subdirección General de Seguridad y Mejora de las Instalaciones General Deputy Director of Safety and Facilities Refurbishment, CIEMAT.

  16. Profª. Encina Calvo Iglesias, Física Aplicada, Universidade Santiago de Compostela.

  17. Profª. Mercedes Ortega.

  18. Dra. Belit Garcinuño Pindado, Laboratorio Nacional de Fusión, CIEMAT.

  19. Profª. Margarita Chevalier del Rio, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

  20. Prof. Javier Vijande López. Departamento de Física Aplicada, Universidade de Vigo.

  21. Laura Morrón Ruiz de Gordejuela. Licenciada en Física y Máster en Ingeniería y gestión de las energías renovables. Directora de la editorial de divulgación científica Next Door Publishers.

  22. Prof.ª Rosa M. Cibrian, Unidad de Biofísica y Física Médica. Dpto. de Fisiología, Universitat de València.

  23. Dra. Paloma Arroyo Huidobro, FCT Researcher Instituto de Telecomunicações - Instituto Superior Técnico Lisbon, Portugal.

  24. Eloisa López Pérez. Profesora Emérita de la UCM y directora del boletín electrónico de la RSEF.

  25. Adrián Besara Rodríguez. Estudiante de Física de la UCM y becario del Boletín electrónico de la RSEF.

  26. Itziar Serrano Pons. Secretaria de Redacción de la REF de la RSEF.

  27. Concepción Zócar Expósito. Gerente de la RSEF.

  28. Prof. Manolo Yuste Llandres, UNED.

  29. Dra. Verónica Salgueiriño, Universidade de Vigo.

  30. Mario Peláez Fernandez, PhD Student Institute of Nanoscience of Aragon.

  31. Bárbara Álvarez González, Investigadora Ramón y Cajal, Universidad de Oviedo, ICTEA.

  32. M. Pilar Casado Lechuga (UAB&IFAE).

  33. Dra. María Josefa Yzuel Giménez, Profesora emérita y Profesora Honoraria, Departamento de Física, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

  34. Dra. Elena Bascones, Científica Titular, Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid.

  35. Benjamin A. Carreras. Profesor afiliado. Universidad de Alaska, Fairbanks.

  36. José Polo Gómez Quantum Fields & Gravity Group, Dpto. de Física Teórica, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

  37. Dr. Silvia Martínez-Núñez Postdoc Instituto de Física de Cantabria (CSIC-UC).

  38. Edilberto Sánchez González Científico Titular de OPIs en Laboratorio Nacional de Fusión, en el CIEMAT.

  39. Dr. Sonia Estradé Albiol Profesora Agregada Facultad de Física, UB.

  40. Chantal Ferrer Roca- Facultat de Física- Universitat de València.

  41. Rosalba García Millan, Imperial College, Londres UK.

  42. Elisabetta Carella Doctor in Applied Physics Fusion Technology Division - Breeder Blanket Technology Unit National Fusion Laboratory – CIEMAT.

  43. Nuria Gordillo García, Dra en CC Físicas, Profesora Ayudante Doctor, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

  44. Alberto Martín Molina, Dpt. Física Aplicada e Instituto Carlos I de Física Teórica y Computacional.

  45. Julia Maldonado Valderrama, Contratada Ramón y Cajal. Dpt. Física Aplicada. Universidad de Granada.

  46. María Ujué González Sagardoy. Instituto de Micro y Nanotecnología (IMN-CNM). Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC).

  47. Jesús Malo López. Universitat de València.

  48. Xavier Ponsoda i Martí. Universitat de València.

  49. Adela Serra Rodríguez. Universitat de València.

  50. Marta Rodriguez Arias. Universitat de València.

  51. Pedro Gil Monte. Universitat de València.

  52. Olga María Zamora Sánchez. Investigadora postdoctoral. Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.

  53. Enrique Ascasíbar. TJ-II Operations Division. National Fusion Laboratory. CIEMAT.

  54. Dra. María Soriano Santacruz. Grupo de mujeres en Física.

  55. Profª. Gloria Platero. Department of Theory, Modeling and Simulation of Materials. Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales del CSIC.

  56. Profª. Verónica Tricio Gómez. Departamento de Física. Universidad de Burgos.

  57. Perla Wahnón Benarroch. Presidenta Confederación de Sociedades Científicas de España (COSCE) Catedrática Emérita. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

  58. Francesca Pinna, investigadora posdoctoral, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPIA), Heidelberg.

  59. Prof.ª Patricia Sánchez Blázquez. Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

  60. Prof. Vicente Muñoz Sanjosé. Universitat de València.

  61. Estefanía Prior. Investigadora posdoctoral en Luz Wavelabs S.L.

  62. Mariela Álvarez López. Dpto de Física, Ingeniería de Sistemas y Teoria de la Señal. Universidad de Alicante.

  63. Dácil Castelo de la Torre, Licenciada en CC. Físicas, CEO de LedaMC.

  64. Luis Montalvo Guitart, Licenciado en CC. Físicas, divulgador,  Director de Talento y Cultura de LedaMC.

  65. Igor Zubiaurre, Licenciado en CC. Físicas, Consultor Senior de LedaMC.

Email para más información y adhesiones.

Nota: Este artículo ha sido editado para especificar que Cassidy Sugimoto es una científica experta en información que ha revisado el artículo de Strumia.

Copyright: Creative Commons
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