In the delightful Harry Potter book and motion picture series, one of Harry’s cherished possessions is an invisibility cloak, which enables him and his friends to carry out many explorations and pranks. Women in physics achieve invisibility without such whimsy, and Physics Today continues to be a prime contributor to that invisibility. Perhaps, like Harry and his friends, women’s invisibility in the physical sciences contributes to their strength. However, Harry and friends are only occasionally invisible. In the pages of Physics Today, women in the physical sciences are only occasionally visible.

The January 2003 issue is typical. In all of its articles and departments combined, the only woman appears on page 37, in a photo showing that “informal gatherings were a part of the charm of the 1954 Varenna Summer School.” From the picture and caption, I see that the school was so informal that men could take off their shirts and have first names; the one woman has no first name and is completely covered (she even wears sunglasses—perhaps to maintain her relative invisibility). Maybe she is just there to contribute “charm.”

The three invited articles are, as usual, all by men (five of them). The obituaries are all by men. The book reviews are all written by men about books by men. The “We Hear That” section refreshingly mentions one woman out of 21 people.

There is no excuse for the persistence of Physics Today as a magazine almost exclusively for, by, and about men. Without conscious attention to the inclusion of women and minority scientists, the magazine contributes to the continuing biases in the physical sciences. It would seem better to be a leader in combating them.