IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Quantifying Attrition in Science: A Longitudinal Study of Scientists in 38 OECD Countries

30 January 2024, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm

Two female scientists peering through a microscope. image credit: Lightfield Studios via Adobe Stock.

Join this event in which Marek Kwiek explores leaving academic science and how attrition differs across genders, disciplines, and over time.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Emily Betz

In this event, 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 at 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 disappear after 5 years and a half after 10 years. However, the probabilities of leaving science are powerfully differentiated. In regression models, predictors of staying in science are sought, with a 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.

This in-person event will be particularly useful for researchers, policy makers and students.

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About the Speaker

Professor Marek Kwiek

Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies and UNESCO Chair in Institutional Research and Higher Education Policy, University of Poznan, Poland

His research area is quantitative studies of science, with interests in globalisation, academic profession, and international research collaboration. 

More about Professor Marek Kwiek