Early science was dominated by men, whether in China, Greece, India, or the Middle East. From the 16th to 20th centuries it developed largely in Western nations, and continued to be dominated by men — but all that is changing. Science is a worldwide endeavor and ought to be open to anyone — regardless of ethnicity, gender, religious commitment, or any other personal characteristic. Increasingly, all sorts of people from almost every part of the world participate in science, and scientific institutions are working hard to expand the diversity of their community. This diversity is one of the keys to science’s rapid rate of progress. A diverse scientific community embraces a variety of viewpoints and problem-solving approaches that help to balance out biases and lead to more complete understandings of the natural world. Click on the map to learn about the research of a scientist working in that region of the world.
Learn how science benefits from the diversity of its participants in our section on the Social side of science.
You can encourage your students to view science as a human endeavor and to recognize the diversity of the scientific community by incorporating examples of scientists in action into your teaching. Find examples by browsing our Science Stories or through projects like the Scientist Spotlights Initiative.
Photo credit: photo of Julio F. Navarro by Valerie Shore, used courtesy of the University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada; Steve W. Running photo courtesy of Dr. Running; Elisabeth Kalko photo by Marcos Guerra, used courtesy of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; Su-Moon Park photo courtesy of Dr. Park; Valerie Clouard photo courtesy of Dr. Clouard; Sergio Henrique Ferreira photo courtesy of Dr. Ferreira; Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan photo courtesy of Dr. Chinsamy-Turan; Mahananda Dasgupta photo courtesy of Dr. Dasgupta; Linda Manzanilla photo courtesy of Dr. Manzanilla; Regina Machinskaya photo courtesy of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology of Cognitive Processes, Institute of Developmental Physiology, Russian Academy of Education; Shadrack Kamenya photo courtesy of Dr. Kamenya; Roop Mallik photo courtesy of Dr. Mallik; Kristala Jones Prather photo by Melanie Miller, used courtesy of Dr. Jones Prather; Ling'an Wu photo courtesy of Dr. Wu.