Our future depends on a robust scientific workforce. But racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in these fields, and millions of people who should be making important breakthroughs are instead--whether because of inadequate public education where they live, a lack of resources and support for college and graduate school, discrimination as they try to get their first job, or a culture of science that weeds out rather than encourages undergraduates--doing other work.
Black applicants to a prestigious research grant program at the National Institutes of Health are awarded funding at a significantly lower rate than their white peers. The NIH has been intensively investigating this funding gap since a 2011 report revealed the extent of the problem, looking for underlying mechanisms to use as opportunities for corrective intervention.
House Science, Space, and Technology Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK), along with Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE.), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) applauded the congressional passage of a bipartisan bill they introduced, along with hundreds of their colleagues, to award Congressional Gold Medals to Katherine Johnson and Dr. Christine Darden and to posthumously award Congressional Gold Medals to Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson.
In 2011, a study led by economist Donna Ginther of the University of Kansas in Lawrence found that black applicants were significantly less likely than white applicants to be funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Since then, NIH officials have examined a host of factors that might cause the disparity, from the historical advantages that white men enjoy to overt discrimination by grant reviewers. But the picture remains cloudy.
Historically black colleges are putting on a full-court press to have Congress extend more than $250 million in mandatory funding for minority-serving institutions that is set to expire at the end of the month. The funding includes roughly $85 million for HBCUs to support education programs in science, technology, math or engineering. The rest goes to tribal colleges and Hispanic-serving institutions.
Institutional data show that a significant number of students at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU)--a public, rural Historically Black University--who identify as STEM (biology, chemistry, pharmaceutical science, computer, and mathematics) majors in the first year graduate with degrees in non-STEM disciplines. While this pattern of switching from STEM to other majors is true across all racial groups, it is much greater for African Americans and other underrepresented minorities...
The 21-year-old senior at the University of California at Davis wasn’t concerned about the academic rigor or long hours spent in the classroom — it was the uneasiness he felt when his peers and instructors watched him. Briscoe, who is African American, studies computer engineering at UC Davis, where black students constitute fewer than 3 percent of students in the program. Often, he is the only black student in his classes.
Representation matters for Black women college students when it comes to belonging in rigorous science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs, according to a new study. Having role models who share their racial identity is vital to signaling a sense of belonging for women of color college students.
We often appreciate the contributions of famous scientists such as Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison. But it’s also important to reflect on the accomplishments of scientists from underrepresented populations who overcame several obstacles to achieve extraordinary feats.
The need for more scientists and engineers is a persistent issue plaguing industries throughout the United States. Several initiatives created to prioritize science, technology, engineering and mathematics in schools are helping educators prepare more diverse students and workers for STEM fields. However, these efforts might be falling short when it comes to representation of people of color, according to a University of Missouri researcher.