Departmental Diversity Statement

Our Commitment to Diversity

(updated May 2021)

HPS is committed to the diversity of its faculty, students, and staff.  As a community we value a broad array of perspectives and strive to ensure that they can be expressed in an environment of mutual respect. 

First and foremost, we seek to foster a healthy intellectual and professional community. The health of our community, across faculty, students, and staff, requires that each member has a felt sense of belonging, mutual respect, and shared responsibility for our departmental culture. A lack of diversity can be a barrier to this aspect of community health.

Additionally, the historic exclusion of women and minorities from the academy generally, and history and philosophy of science in particular, has had a number of detrimental effects: disadvantaging those unjustly excluded, the consequent loss of talent to the profession, and the resultant underrepresentation of these groups, which compounds the difficulties involved in addressing systemic barriers to diverse and healthy intellectual communities. In HPS, our commitment to diversity is further grounded in a recognition of the power of diverse representation to lower the barriers of entry to the profession.

The HPS community does not tolerate discrimination in any form, especially with respect to sex, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, religion, or health or physical ability. We are committed to employing current best practices for supporting inclusive excellence in hiring and admissions decisions. We maintain an openness to revising our practices should even better ones come to light in order to nurture the vitality and openness of our intellectual community.

Measures of Diversity

We focus our diversity efforts on gender (male, female, or non-binary), nationality (international or U.S. citizen), and race and ethnicity among US citizens.  One reason we distinguish between US and international faculty and students is to clarify the effect of folding international faculty and students into race and ethnicity data using US-based categories.

Faculty Diversity

From 2008 to 2021, our proportion of women faculty members has risen from 14.3% (1/7) to 21% (2/9.5).  As a point of comparison, in Philosophy as a discipline in the United States, a 2014 study reported women to be 25% of faculty, with philosophy of science having only 16% women. As of Fall 2021, our faculty does not have any members from U.S. racial or ethnic minority groups. 

We are not satisfied with our proportion of women and racial and ethnic minorities on the faculty and aim to address these in future hires.

Graduate Student Diversity

Pitt HPS typically admits 4 or 5 graduate students per year.  While this is not a large number of students, it offers an opportunity for much more rapid change than is the case of faculty representation, where hiring is much less frequent.

Gender Diversity among Graduate Students

As of Fall 2021, almost 37% of our graduate students identify as women.  Our goal is to increase the number of women in history and philosophy of science by striving to enroll equitable numbers of women and men.  Within the next five years, we hope to have women represent 50% of our graduate students. 

 

As of Fall 2020, almost 43% of our graduate students identify as women.  Our goal is to increase the number of women in history and philosophy of science by striving to enroll  equitable numbers of women and men.  As a point of comparison, in 2016, 56% of undergraduates at U.S. universities and colleges identified as women.

International Diversity among Graduate Students

About 27% of our graduate students in 2021 have citizenship outside of the U.S.  Our goal is to continue to welcome international students into the history and philosophy of science community at Pitt. 

Racial and Ethnic Diversity among US Graduate Students

Over 19% of our current graduate students with US citizenship identify with the U.S.-based designation for an underrepresented minority group.  9.5% of our current graduate students with U.S. citizenship identify as having Asian ancestry.  Our goal is to increase the number of U.S. racial and ethnic minorities in history and philosophy of science by enrolling more U.S. students of color. 

Resources

Minorities and Philosophy Chapter (http://www.mapforthegap.com): Pitt has an active MAP chapter that draws members from both HPS and Philosophy. 

The Pittsburgh School of Feminist Philosophy Reading Group (https://pghfeministphilosophy.wordpress.com): Open to interested graduate students and faculty, this group also reads and discusses feminist philosophy of science.

Pittsburgh Summer Program for Underrepresented Groups in Philosophy of Science (https://www.centerphilsci.pitt.edu/programs/pittsburgh-summer-program/): A summer program from underrepresented undergraduate students run by the Center for Philosophy of Science.

Diversity and Inclusion Resources from Graduate Studies (https://www.asgraduate.pitt.edu/diversity-inclusion): Including information about fellowship programs, research opportunities, and resources for US and International students.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion (https://www.diversity.pitt.edu): Campus wide resources including details on policies and procedures, campus events, and support.

Disability Resources and Services (https://www.studentaffairs.pitt.edu/drs/): Campus wide resources for students with disabilities including information on equal access and accommodation.

Title IX at Pitt (https://www.titleix.pitt.edu): Campus wide resources and reporting on sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and sexual violence.

History of Science Society, Women’s Caucus (https://hssonline.org/about/groups/womens-caucus/): Information on women in history of science as well as women in science more genrally.

Philosophy of Science Association, Women’s Caucus: (https://womenscaucus.philsci.org): Mentoring, networking, and advocacy for women in philosophy of science.

Philosophy of Science Association, Diversity and Climate Committee (https://www.philsci.org/psa-committee-on-diversity-and-climate.html)

Philosophy of Science Association, Underrepresented Philosophy of Science Scholars (UPSS) Initiative (https://upss.philsci.org): Includes important information about the UPSS mentoring program and travel grants.

Underrepresented Philosophers Directory (https://updirectory.apaonline.org/GroupsAll.cshtml/4): Hosted by the American Philosophical Association.