The US scientific workforce is primarily composed of White men. Studies have demonstrated the systemic barriers preventing women and other minoritized populations from gaining entry to science; few, however, have taken an intersectional perspective and examined the consequences of these inequalities on scientific knowledge. We provide a large-scale bibliometric analysis of the relationship between intersectional identities, topics, and scientific impact. We find homophily between identities and topic, suggesting a relationship between diversity in the scientific workforce and expansion of the knowledge base. However, topic selection comes at a cost to minoritized individuals for whom we observe both between- and within-topic citation disadvantages. To enhance the robustness of science, research organizations should provide adequate resources to historically underfunded research areas while simultaneously providing access for minoritized individuals into high-prestige networks and topics.
Keywords: bibliometrics; gender; intersectionality; race; science of science.