Issue Date: August 8, 2016
Calling for studies on how to diversify science workforce
The rigorous, evidence-based approaches used in research should be applied to increasing diversity in science, according to three higher education organizations. The Association of Public & Land-grant Universities, the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, and the Association of American Medical Colleges studied the lack of diversity in the biomedical sciences. Their report says individual universities are trying their own diversity initiatives, but a broader approach would allow evidence about successful interventions to be more widely shared. Among its recommendations, the report suggests a focus on graduate school programs that can reduce what is called stereotype threat, which is when individuals feel judged with stereotypes about their minority group. It also suggests studying ways to encourage more minority graduate students to continue in postdoctoral studies and, eventually, academia. One change that might work now, the report says, is using holistic review to get a more diverse pool of graduate students. The strategy, which focuses on an applicant’s entire experience rather than just test scores or grades, has increased diversity in medical schools.
- Chemical & Engineering News
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