December 4, 2012 11:45 am

We need your help with another brief survey!

 Pioneer 10 spacecraft has this engraved gold-anodized aluminum plate featuring human forms and directions to planet Earth.  (NASA)

Surveys and exploration: we never know exactly what we’re going to find. Shown: Engraved plate featuring human forms and directions to planet Earth from the Pioneer 10 spacecraft. (NASA)

As a result of our recent survey, we discovered something that we’d like to change. It turns out that we have more men in our audience than women. Considerably more.

Now, this came as a bit of a surprise to me (Jeff), at least based on my interactions with our audience on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and in our comments on the blog and episodes here on the website.

After all, you all are not a silent audience. You let us know what you’re thinking. You let us know when we tell you something interesting, and you definitely let us know when you don’t agree with something that’s said on the show. And for the most part, gender isn’t hidden in social media, so I haven’t seen a vast gap in engagement based on that. We count among our fans some of the leading female scientists and bloggers out there today. (We could use more astronauts… but who couldn’t?)

So what are we going to do about this? We can’t just waive a magic wand and say, “Poof. Our audience is now balanced.”

We’re going to start by asking you to complete another survey. This one is gender based, so women click here and men click here. The goal is to get a better understanding of what topics women might want us to feature in future seasons of StarTalk Radio, what changes we can make to the show to make it more relevant and encourage more direct interaction with the show.

And please, we’re not talking about Pink Hondas or Pink Lego here. We’re definitely not suggesting that women need to be treated differently than men when it comes to science, nor do we believe it. We are simply recognizing that based on the reality of our audience, we can do a better job of programming content that is more universally appealing. And so we are turning to you, that audience, to help us figure it out.

Beyond the survey, you can also help by spreading the word about StarTalk Radio. If you’re reading this, you already know how much fun the show is. What a great job astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson does of combining celebrities and humor to make scientific topics fun. (As if physics isn’t a barrel of laughs in itself!) And if you do believe that, don’t keep it to yourself. Help us reduce the testosterone in our audience to an appropriate level that reflects the world in which we live and want to live, one where there are no barriers to learning about science, be they based on gender, race, age, class, or belief.

–Jeffrey Simons

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