Science said to lack minority input

November 13, 1992|By Dallas Morning News

DALLAS -- The nation's leading scientific publication, in a report to be released today, said efforts to involve minorities in science have failed, and it recommended immediate steps to expand the ranks of minority scientists.

The journal Science attributes the failure to the scientific community's lack of commitment, vague goals, inconsistent ,X funding and failure to understand the needs of minority students.

It warns that unless more minorities become involved by the end of the century, U.S. scientific efforts will suffer because there won't be enough researchers to carry on the work needed to compete with other nations.

The report says there has been no increase in the number of African-Americans, Hispanics and American Indians in science over the past 20 years. About 5 percent of science professionals are minorities, compared with 18 percent in the general workforce, Science says.

The journal also says that although Asian-Americans are adequately represented in science programs, they often fail to reach top positions.

F: "Perhaps the saddest part of this tale is the sense of

opportunity lost," the report said. "The '60s and the '70s were the age of expansion. . . . Today's climate, with its stagnant economy and research retrenchment, is a poor time to begin such a massive effort -- even though the need is even greater now."

A large percentage of minority students drop out of science programs before they reach college, officials said, and only a tiny fraction of science doctoral degrees are awarded to minorities.

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