In this presentation, leaving academic science is explored: how attrition differs across genders, disciplines, and over time. Traditional narratives of women leaving science earlier than men (and leaving it in larger proportions) are revisited, using currently available structured Big Data on academic careers. In this cohort-based, longitudinal approach, the details of careers of STEMM scientists who started publishing in different points in time (year 2000, N=142,776; and year 2010, N=232,843) are examined. Survival analysis shows that attrition is amazingly high – one third of scientists disappears after 5 years and a half after 10 years. However, probabilities of leaving science are powerfully differentiated. In regression models, predictors of staying in science are sought, with special interest in the quantity and quality of publications. Overall, probabilities of attrition are high – but over time, they are ever less gendered. Global bibliometric datasets are tested, opening new opportunities to explore careers nationally and globally. Limitations and trade-offs are discussed and wider implications are shown.
Professor Marek Kwiek is Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies and UNESCO Chair in Institutional Research and Higher Education Policy, University of Poznan, Poland (https://ias.amu.edu.pl/director/). His research area is quantitative studies of science, with interests in globalization, academic profession, and international research collaboration. He has published 230 papers and several books. His recent monograph is Changing European Academics: A Comparative Study of Social Stratification, Work Patterns and Research Productivity (Routledge, 2019). His recent invited seminars include Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Beijing, Hiroshima, and Hong Kong. He spent three years at North American universities, including the University of Virginia and UC Berkeley. He was also a Fulbright New Century Scholar (2007-2008) and a Professorial Visiting Fellow at the UCL London (2012-2013). Currently, he is a Visiting Researcher at the German Center for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), Berlin. A Principal Investigator or country Team Leader in 25 international research projects. An associate editor of Higher Education and an editorial board member of Higher Education Quarterly and British Educational Research Journal. A Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (EASA) in Salzburg and Academia Europaea in London. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org , Twitter: @Marek_Kwiek.