NASA pushes for diversity in planetary science

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Science  05 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6337, pp. 475
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6337.475

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In December 2016, NASA began accepting bids for its next New Frontiers competition, a chance to mount a $1 billion mission to a solar system destination such as Venus or Saturn’s moon Titan. That announcement contained something new: language stating that the agency expects the values of diversity and inclusivity would be reflected in proposing teams. That statement stems from a grassroots effort of planetary scientists to calculate the breakdown of NASA planetary missions by sex, finding that, in the past 15 years, the progress of women had stalled. Bids for the competition came due in late April, and many hope NASA’s new awareness could be a first step toward making sure the merits of all applications can be seen.