Women in Plasma Physics

Of all the physics problems encountered, the most frustrating one has been the unacceptable underrepresentation of women. The APS-DPP membership has historically experienced especially low representation of women, at a stagnant ~8% in comparison to ~14% APS as a whole.

APS and APS-DPP are working to promote the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in physics. The APS-DPP Committee on Women in Plasma Physics (CWIPP) organizes events at the APS-DPP Annual Meeting to provide networking and discussion opportunities for women, identify challenges women face in the plasma physics community, and maintain data on women in plasma physics. More on the history of CWIPP.

Questions? Comments? Interested in becoming a member of the APS-DPP WIPP committee? 

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For the Class of 2018 - Alumni

APS-DPP Meeting Activities

The Women in Plasma Physics luncheon provides networking and discussion opportunities for female students and plasma scientists. The luncheon often includes updates, plans, and statistics on Women in Plasma Physics, and a speaker from the plasma physics community is invited to share some of her experiences and answer questions. The luncheon is open to all conference attendees. Typically, about half of the attendees are students. Tickets must be purchased in advance during conference registration. APS-DPP provides financial support for graduate students to attend. 

The Women in Plasma Physics Reception includes refreshments and may feature a short talk, possibly from an expert external to our community, a discussion panel, or moderated group discussions. All are welcome to attend.

The APS-DPP Allies Program aims to create a safe and inclusive environment for all attendees at the DPP annual meeting.

View Past Presentations


The Katherine Weimer Award for Women in Plasma Physics recognizes and encourages outstanding achievement in plasma science research by a woman physicist in the early years of her career. The award consists of $2,000, a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient, and presented during the award ceremony at the DPP Annual Meeting banquet, and a registration fee waiver. The recipient will be invited to give a talk at the DPP annual meeting. The award was presented every three years beginning in 2002 and starting in 2019 will be presented every two years.

Aside from this award, women have been recognized by the society and have become APS fellows, received the Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award, the John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research, and the Thomas H. Stix Award for Outstanding Early Career Contributions to Plasma Physics Research.  In 2016, for the first time in over 40 years, a woman was awarded the James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics.

More DPP Awards

2019 Katherine Weimer Award winner Dr. Maria Gatu Johnson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Plasma Science Fusion Center. Citation: "For significant contributions to Inertial fusion sciences and pioneering work in Stellar Nucleosynthesis through nuclear measurements."

APS Support for Women in Physics

APS sponsors a number of programs supporting women in physics, including:

More on APS Women in Physics

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