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Chemist diversity by the numbers

A new US National Science Foundation report on diversity in the sciences gives insight into where chemistry stands

by Andrea Widener
April 14, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE 15


  • 4.8%

    Percentage of chemistry doctoral-degree recipients who have a disability

  • 40.9%

    Percentage of graduate students in chemistry who are women

  • 9.2%

    Percentage of employed chemists who have a disability

  • 25.5%

    Percentage of postdoctoral fellows in chemistry who are women

  • Percentage of federal government with at least a bachelor's degree in chemistry or chemical engineering who are women

  • Citizenship status of chemistry graduate students

  • 62.4%

    Citizens or permanent residents

  • 37.6%

    Temporary visa holders

  • Race of chemistry graduate students who are citizens or permanent residents

    Number of students = 14,156

  • Race of employed chemists

    Number of employed chemists = 109,000

  • Totals do not equal 100% because of rounding.
    a Includes multiracial, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander.

    Source: NSF, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, 2019. Note: Data from 2016 or 2017, except where indicated.




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Shouldn't say (April 17, 2019 10:43 AM)
How about adding a pie chart with the racial makeup of the country to compare to?
Afraid to say (April 17, 2019 10:53 AM)
What's the goal here? I have heard several engineering schools say their goal is to have equal numbers of men and women. Is that the goal? To have chemistry mirror the racial and gender composition of the country? If so, we need to cut the number of men, cut the number of Asians, and increase the number of women, whites, blacks, and Latinos. Is that really the goal? Or is the goal to be fair and make sure that if someone wants to go into chemistry that their race or gender is not a deterrent? Even if that ends up meaning fewer of one group and more of another?

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