UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


MAPS EDI Lunch Hour Conversations: how inequalities shape unequal patterns of STEM participation

25 May 2023, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

EDI News

The next MAPS Lunch Hour Conversation will take place on 25th May. We welcome Professor Louise Archer from the Institute of Education Education, Practice and Society, UCL to discuss how inequalities of gender, race and class shape unequal patterns of STEM participation - and what we can do about it.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students






Ethne James-Souch (on behalf of MAPS Vice-Dean EDI Nick Achilleos)

Science is often considered an 'elite', high status subject. Working class students, particularly young women and some minority ethnic groups, are starkly under-represented in the subject at post-16 level.

This talk unpicks how the educational field excludes these groups and how celebrated notions of the 'good science student' are gendered, racialised and classed. As a result, it is difficult for working-class students to be recognised - and to recognise themselves - as 'real' scientists.

Louise provides practical advice about what can be done about it. 

The event will run a Q&A format where the audience can also submit questions on this topic for Louise. All staff and students in UCL are welcome to attend.

The event is via Zoom. Please ensure you register using the link above.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

MAPS EDI Lunch Hour Conversations 2023

Please see below to download the MAPS EDI Lunch Hour Conversation Schedule for 2023, that contains registeration links to the other events:

About the Speaker

Louise Archer

Karl Mannheim Chair of Sociology of Education at IOE Education, Practice and Society

Photo of Professor Louise Archer
Louise's research focuses on educational identities and inequalities, particularly in relation to gender, ethnicity and social class. She has previously undertaken studies on topics such as British Muslim students' identities and educational experiences (e.g. Archer, L., 2003, Race, Masculinity and Schooling, Open University Press); working-class access and non-participation in higher education (e.g. Archer et al., 2003, Higher Education and Social Class, Routledge); the factors behind British Chinese students' educational success (e.g. Archer & Francis, 2007, Understanding Minority Ethnic Achievement, Routledge); urban students' who are at risk of 'dropping out' of schooling (e.g. Archer et al., 2010, Urban Youth and Schooling, Open University Press) and more recently research on inequalities in science participation (e.g. Archer & DeWitt, 2017, Understanding Young People's Science Aspirations, Routledge).

Louise is currently the Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education at UCL IOE (2017-) and co-chair of the Centre for Sociology of Education and Equity (with Jessica Ringrose and Carol Vincent). Previously she was a Professor of Sociology of Education at King's College London, where she was also the Director of the Centre for Research in Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Louise is currently the PI of a number of large national projects, including the thirteen year ESRC funded Aspires study (a mixed methods longitudinal tracking of students' science and career aspirations from age 10-23); the Primary Science Capital Teaching Approach project (funded by PSTT and The Ogdent Trust), the Making Spaces project (funded by Lloyds Register Foundation) and the UK PI of the Youth Equity & STEM project (a four year, UK-US project, focusing on youth equity in informal educational settings, with US PI, Angela Calabrese Barton). Previously she was the lead coordinator of the ESRC's £3m TISME research programme (Targeted Initiative on Science and Mathematics Education).

Louise is passionate about social justice approaches to education and to the potential for academic research to 'make a difference' to educational policy and practice.

More about Louise Archer