So I joined a women in science group as part of my resolution to be more locally activist in the Trump era, and at the first meeting I put my hand up to be the data analyst for the group. Turns out they had no data to analyze, so “data analyst” actually means “please also design a survey/experiment/questionnaire thing and also we want to publish this ok thx.”

In principle, this is fine with me, but I do have some hesitation. First, I’m not even sure what it is the group president had in mind to measure. The first meeting (it was also her first as prez) was mostly aimed at planning some outreach, with the main thrust being about science itself rather than women in science. (I.e., the aim of educating target groups about science rather than educating them about women in science.) But, it seemed she wanted to maybe measure awareness of women in science, like “how many female scientists can you name” or something like that. She did say she was happy to change that approach, but I’m not sure what to change it TO, I guess. That would also depend on what the outreach content is as well. So, any ideas there as to what to measure based on an “outreach” platform are welcome.

Second, I also don’t know the first thing about social data analysis! I have enough stats to get started, but no grounding at all in quantitative social literature. I’ve never constructed a questionnaire, let alone with specific statistical approaches in mind.


So in summary, I’d like to solicit:
-what kind of local-scale progress or effectiveness should I be trying to measure?
-how should I go about measuring it?
-any methodology literature on this sort of stuff I should be reading?
-what publications should I look into as exemplar?