3  Community Composition

Our first research question was look at the composition of the Astropy Community. In the survey, we asked questions to get a better sense of the role, age, involvement level, geographic location and how comfortable respondents felt giving feedback to Astropy leadership.

Generally we find that the majority of respondents are professional astronomers in early to mid career. We see a long term commitment among respondents to Astropy with 40% being involved with Astropy between 5-10 years. Respondents were primarily in North America.

3.1 Professional Astronomers

The survey team was interested to know what percentage of respondents work professionally in the field of astronomy. Not surprisingly, an overwhelming majority of respondents, 93% (n=89) make a living in a field that is related to astronomy.

Those who do not work in Astronomy are a student, a freelance software developer, a retiree, an academic, a space industry professional, a healthcare professional and a planetary defence worker. Many of these are astronomy / science adjacent, even if not identified by the respondent as an “astronomy” jobs.

3.2 Age Distribution

Strong academic software communities have a mix of early, mid and late career participation. In this survey we found that the folks who responded to the survey were distributed strongly towards early to mid career representation, but with some participation in very early and late career age cohorts.

3.3 Involvement in Astropy

The length of involvement shows over half (57) of respondents have been involved for five years or more, with 40 having been involved for less than five years. For a community looking to constantly re-charge and grow its long-term utility and appeal it is important to continue to be inviting new community members. Continuing to fill the pipeline with participants who have not been involved for very long can help to build long-term participation.

3.4 Location and Time Zones

To get a sense of geographic distribution of participants we asked both for physical location and time zone. A majority of 69% of respondents are located in one of the five North American major Time Zones (Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific, Arizona).

Next in order was European time zones with a collective 20% across Europe. The rest of the time zones (~10%) are spread across other parts of the world, mostly in Asia. From the time zone data, it appears that the community could target growth in Asian time zones, as there is a large global population there.

3.5 Feedback to Leadership

We were interested to know what percentage of survey respondents had engaged with Astropy leadership in the past. From our survey response, about 33% of community members report that they have given feedback to the leadership of Astropy. It is also worth noting that 12 respondents (~10%) reported they had at one time held a leadership position in Astropy.