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Physics Education Research Conference 2021

August 4, 2021 - August 5, 2021 in a Virtual Conference Format

Making Physics More Inclusive and Eliminating Exclusionary Practices in Physics

As a gateway discipline to STEM majors and careers, physics plays a central role in deciding who does, and who doesn't, get to discover and pursue scientific careers. Technical and scientific professionals are rewarded with economic privilege and status which affords them both social and cultural power. Therefore, social justice will be realized only when the opportunity, and the choice, to excel in physics is open to all students. The culture and practices of the physics classroom reflect the culture of physics at large, which raises the question of how our professional physics communities can embrace, rather than inadvertently repel, a diverse group of academics that can help improve physics culture.  To this end, the 2021 Physics Education Research Conference will focus on defining inclusive spaces and practices. Additionally, we will explore strategies for eliminating exclusionary practices in our classrooms, research spaces, and professional organizations. We call on the community to propose sessions that will drive conversations related to these initiatives throughout PERC 2021.
  • What would it mean for physics and physics education research to be inclusive fields?
  • How might faculty hiring and promotion practices be restructured to establish and support work in social justice as an important departmental value?
  • What implicit expectations and practices in our courses result in students from majority groups and more privileged backgrounds having increased opportunities for success at the expense of marginalized populations?
  • How could success in physics be redefined as an inclusive practice?
With this in mind, we seek sessions that will address these questions that challenge our communities to do better.

We approach this conference with the knowledge that historical inequities in K-20 education exist and are exacerbated by current practices, which have become even more evident in light of the current economic crisis, global pandemic, and civil unrest due to racialized violence. We share the world view that it is incumbent on us as researchers and academics to understand the landscape of those inequities in our field. We also frame this work as hopeful and optimistic, that within our communities we have the intellectual power, deep commitment and strong intention to help create a better tomorrow.

The lead organizers are Geraldine L. Cochran, Suzanne White Brahmia, Eric Brewe, Debbie Andres, Gina Passante, and Trevor I. Smith.  The organizers can be contacted by emailing 2021PERC@gmail.com.

For questions regarding PERC Proceedings, please email the PERC Proceedings Editors at perc-proceedings@aapt.org.

Conference Registration

Registration for PERC is an 'add-on' to the AAPT (American Association of Physics Teachers) Summer Meeting Registration.  PERC registration is $40 in addition to the AAPT Meeting registration fee.  Visit the AAPT website to register!

The PERC 2021 conference will be held in a virtual conference format. Additional details about the virtual platform will be available soon.


February 19, 2021: Parallel session proposal submission opened
April 22, 2021: Parallel session proposals were due
April 23, 2021: Contributed poster abstract submission opened
June 4, 2021: PERC Proceedings papers and associated poster abstracts were due
June 25, 2021: Non-paper eligible poster abstract submissions are due
July 2, 2021: Reviews for the PERC Proceedings were due.
July 9, 2021: Video presentations for parallel sessions were due.
July 12, 2021: Print-ready files for posters were due.
August 4-5, 2021: Dates of the PERC