For many years, colleges and
universities across the United States have sought to increase the numbers of African American, Hispanic and Native American students who
pursue scientific careers. Yet the College Board reported in 1999 that underrepresentation of minority students had become even "more intractable."*
African Americans now constitute 12 percent of the U.S. population yet earned only 1 percent of the doctorates in 1997. Hispanics make up 11 percent of the population but earned 0.9 percent of the 1997 doctorates. Although the numbers of African American and Hispanic students earning bachelor's degrees in 1996-1997 hit an all-time high, there was a decline
in those entering graduate school, according to the American Association for
the Advancement of Science. Native Americans also remain underrepresented in the sciences. continued...
* Priming the Pump: Strategies for Increasing the Achievement of Underrepresented Minority Undergraduates
(New York: College Board Publications, December 1999).
this story in Acrobat PDF format.
Reprinted from the HHMI Bulletin,
May 2001, pages 28-33.
©2001 Howard Hughes Medical Institute