- News Home
17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
Diversified Science on New Panel's Agenda
23 October 1998 7:00 pm
WASHINGTON, D.C.--In the latest effort to boost the numbers of underrepresented populations in science, President Clinton signed a bill last week that calls for a new commission that will recommend ways to remedy the imbalance. The commission, to consist of seven corporate representatives and four science educators, will meet over the course of a year to explore what can be done for women, minorities, and people with disabilities who are pursuing scientific careers.
Representative Connie Morella (R-MD), who proposed the bill, was initially struck by the scarcity of women in science and engineering--they make up less than 10% of the profession. But when her bill reached the House Education Committee earlier this year, Democrats argued that it would be a mistake to focus only on women, because minorities and disabled individuals fare just as poorly. "For many years science has been a white male profession," says one Democratic congressional aide. Republicans agreed to broaden the bill, but discouraged the use of affirmative action as a remedy.
So while Morella was pleased to see some progress on her initiative this year, her staff remains cautious about how the commission will work: "I just hope [its broadness] will be manageable," says an aide to Morella. On the Democratic side, aides worry that this new commission, whose members will be appointed within 6 weeks by the Washington, D.C.-based National Governors' Association, will do little more than those that preceded it.
Outside the Capitol, however, some are more hopeful. "If the committee could pull together what we already know ... and make very strong recommendations" regarding changes in science and engineering education, the effort would be worth it, says Elaine Seymour, who works in the Bureau of Sociological Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder.