A new study conducted by a team of researchers has found that hiring astronomers from marginalized communities could help enhance chances of stunning space discoveries. Providing opportunities for indigenous, disabled and LGBTQ astronomers is seen as essential to succeed in the new era of mega telescopes.
In the study published in the journal Nature Astronomy, Professor Lisa Kewley, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in All Sky Astrophysics (ASTRO 3D) suggested that fresh approaches that include hiring experts from marginalized communities could be key to making significant discoveries.
"Studies show that increased diversity up to the highest levels of organizations, and effective diversity management, leads to organizations outperforming their competition in innovation, productivity and profit because more ideas are produced. These might be ideas for new experiments, products, or new ways to become more efficient or profitable," said Kewley in a recent statement.
According to Kewley, innovative approaches like these are very much crucial to exploit the potential of powerful space research facilities like the Square Kilometre Array in Australia and South Africa, and the Giant Magellan and Extremely Large Telescopes, Chile.
Underscoring the need for greater levels of diversity in astronomical organizations, Kewley said: "There is a statistically significant correlation between greater levels of diversity in company leadership and a greater likelihood of outperforming the relevant industry peer group on key measurements such as profit. It is reasonable to infer that greater levels of diversity in astronomy organizations will also produce a greater likelihood of outperforming the competition in astronomy key performance measures in major discoveries and advances."
Jim Bridenstine, the NASA chief, had recently revealed that the first human on Mars will most likely be a woman. He added that the space agency also has plans to send a woman to the lunar surface.