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I think NSF should support those sorts of bread and butter programs.
Mr. Brown. Well, I agree with that completely, and I also envision that we are going to make a lot of mistakes in trying to find technological solution to this fundamental problem. But in addition to the mistakes, we may come up with a few of the right answers. At the same time it will help us to keep the whole system sort of in balance and everyone in touch with what is going on through the system. This is what I am looking for.
I have no further questions.
I would like to thank both of our witnesses. I know Dr. Powell has a plane to catch, so we won't hold him up any longer. It has been excellent testimony and we are very grateful for your presence today.
Dr. NELSEN. Thank you. Thank you for your interest.
Mr. PEASE. Our final witness this afternoon, is Dr. Eugene CotaRobles, vice chancellor, University of California at Santa
Cruz. Dr. Cota-Robles informs me he has given up his administrative duties and is now a full-time teacher.
So he is also a member of the National Science Board and we will appreciate having his perspective from both points of view.
[The biographical sketch and prepared statement of Dr. Eugene Cota-Robles, vice chancellor, University of California at Santa Cruz, follow:]
DR. EUGENE H. COTA-ROBLES
I am a member of a large (11 children) Mexican-American (Chicano) family from Arizona. My education in Tucson schools culminated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arizona in 1950.
After working 2 years as a quality control bacteriologist in industry, I entered graduate study at the University of California at Davis. I was awarded a Ph. D. in Microbiology at UC Davis in 1956 for a study of the “Biochemical organization of the nitrogen fixing bacterium, Azotobacter." I continue my studies with a postdoctoral fellowship in Stockholm, Sweden with Professor Claes Weibull.
My appointment as Assistant Professor of Microbiology at the University of California, Riverside began in 1958 and I was granted tenure in 1965 and promoted to Professor in 1969. While a faculty member at UCR I began electron microscopic studies of bacteria and their viruses which I am still pursuing. In addition to teaching and research I developed the first Educational Opportunity Program in the University of California in 1964. With students and faculty I planned a program of Mexican American studies at UC Riverside and became its first chairperson in 1969.
I joined the faculty of Penn State University as Head of the Department of Microbiology in 1970 and I helped the further development of this Department. I served at Penn State for 3 years where I initiated work on Chromobacterium violaceum. In 1973 I assumed a major administrative role as Academic Vice Chancellor of UC Santa Cruz, a position I filled until 1979 when I returned to my full time research and teaching position as Professor Biology at UC Santa Cruz. In 1979 I was appointed by President Carter to the National Science Board which guides the National Science Foundation.
STATEMENT OF EUGENE H. COTA-ROBLES, Ph. D., PROFESSOR OF BIOLOGY,
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ, CALIF. Mr. Chairman, I want to express my appreciation to you and your subcommittee for this opportunity to address you on the topic of Minorities and Women as Underdeveloped Resources in Science. I want to make certain that you recognize that my appearance today is as a private and interested scientist-citizen rather than as a member of the National Science Board.
Prior to coming here today to testify before you I did consult with a number of minority and women scientists. I want to bring these individuals to your at. tention because these individuals have given my topic long and serious consideration, moreover they have developed solutions to some of the problems I will discuss today. The individuals are:
Dr. Thomas Cole: Professor of Chemistry and Director of the NSF-funded Atlanta University Resource Center for Science and Engineering.
Dr. Ciriaco Gonzales : Director of the highly successful Minority Biomedical Support Program in NIH's Division of Research Resources.
Dr. Rayna Green : Visiting Professor of Native American Studies, Dartmouth College (on leave from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)).
Dr. Richard Griego: Professor of Mathematics and Director of the NSFfunded Resource Center for Science and Engineering at the University of New Mexico.
Dr. Nancy Kreinberg: Director of Mathematics and Science Education for Women at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Kreinberg directs an Office of Education funded program designed to improve mathematic instruction for women.
Dr. J. V. Martinez: Physicist in the Department of Energy whose 1975 testimony before the Senate subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research was instrumental in the development of the concept of Resource Centers in Science and Engineering.
Dr. Shirly McBay: Program Officer of NSF's Resource Centers in Science and Engineering. Dr. McBay's careful nurturing of this program has been crucial to its successful development.
Dr. Victor Rocha : Associate Professor of Biology at The University of California at Santa Cruz and the Director of an extremely successful Minority Biomedical Support Program.
Dr. Betty M. Vetter: Senior author of the AAAS Scientific Manpower Commission's report, Professional Women and Minorities.
The young people listed above are all qualified and competent scientists and teachers who have taken an active role in trying to insure that the underutilized talents and potential of women and minority students are directed to the further development of science in America.
Underdevelopment and underutilization of women and minorities in science can be understood as arising from various roots. The lowered expectations engendered in women and minorities from their early childhood onward contributes greatly to this underdevelopment. The problems of lack of access to advanced education either through financial difficulties or inadequate academic preparation also contribute to underdevelopment. A third major factor of course is the limited employment opportunities which affirmative action processes are striving to ameliorate. Women and minorities frequently have different cul. tural histories, and experiences and thus bring new and enriched perspectives into scientific inquiry. The intellectual resources of women and minorities must be used more effectively and appropriately by American society.
A simple way to appreciate the scope and extent of the underutilization of women and minorities is to examine the data regarding doctoral degrees granted in the fundamental science disciplines to women and minorities. Today a Ph. D. degree is required of virtually every individual who seeks the opportunity to perform original research within an institutional setting. In reality a ner requirement has appeared. All candidates for appointment to basic science faculty at major universities are expected to have extensive postdoctoral experience and training. The impact of such a requirement on the employment of women and minorities has not been established, I cannot imagine that this impact has been a favorable one. Rather than consider postdoctoral experience I will focus primarily on doctoral degrees to examine underdevelopment and underutilization. The data presented in Tables 1 and 2 below are drawn from information collected by the National Research Council.
Science Doctorate recipients US citizens/permanent resident 1973–76 by major field and sex.
The figures in Table 1 are rather clear in showing that although the overall percentage of doctoral degrees awarded to women in the period of 1973–76 is 11.1 percent there is extreme variation from a low of 1.5 percent in engineering to 23 percent for biological science. These figures are straightforward and certainly demonstrate unequivocally that females obtain doctoral degrees in basic science and engineering significantly less frequently than males. However, I ask you to look at these figures in another manner. If one assumes that the U.S. population of 220,000,000 is 52 percent female and 48 percent male one can calculate that during the 4 year period 1973–76 the proportion of males in the entire U.S. male population receiving doctoral degrees was one out of every 3,000 males while only one out of every 30,000 females received a doctoral degree during this same period. Thus, the likelihood that an American male will receive a doctoral degree in basic sciences is 10 times greater than the likelihood that a U.S. female will receive a doctoral degree in science. I will return to this point later, however, I want now to present you data regarding minorities.
Table 2 is a similar display of data of doctoral recipients, however, the breakdown of the data is by racial/ethnic group rather than sex.
Basic Science Doctorate Recipients U.S. citizens/permanent resident: 1973–76 by Major Field, Racial/Ethnic group.
The data in Table 2 is clear although it does require some explanation. First, a significant number of individuals completing the NRC questionnaire did not give information about their race/ethnic group. Second, the figures cited for Native Americans appear to be spurious and those of us concerned with the needs of Native Americans for higher education feel that these figures may be exaggerated by a factor of 4 or even by a factor of 5. Rayna Green from Dartmouth who did extensive study on this topic for the American Association for Advancement of Science feels that in the U.S. there are perhaps 50 Native Americans with the doctorate in the basic sciences and she personally know over 30 of them. I will not be able to speak at any length about the underdevelopment of Native Americans, primarily out of my ignorance. The figures presented for Asian Americans are striking because of their comparatively large size. These figures are accurate but may be slightly misleading in that major American universities do not appear to employ Asian doctorates in basic sciences at anywhere near the level presented here. Careful analysis should be given to my claim that the figures for Asians are accurate but misleading. I have encouraged several Asian American scientists to do so. My point here is that although Asian/Americans may be considered as overachievers in so far as receipt of a doctoral degree is concerned, they may not be overachievers insofar as employment as faculty in major universities. I will try to develop my concern with employment patterns by major universities shortly. I ask you once again to look at these data as proportions of the subgroup population rather than as just numbers. In Table 3 you can see what these proportions are.
Basic Science Doctoral Recipients in 1973–76 by Radical/Ethnic Group.
This table reveals that Blacks are 10 times less likely to obtain a degree in basic science than are Whites, while Chicanos and Puerto Ricans are 7 times less likely to obtain a degree than are Whites. This difference of one order of magnitude is not trivial, it is in fact highly significant and may even represent the data in somewhat favorable terms. I say somewhat favorable since the employment rate of minority doctoral recipients in basic science in major universities is not one order of magnitude less than the employment rate of Whites by these institutions. I emphasize major universities since these are the institutions which have the resources and facilities which permit basic research to flourish. Moreover it is at such institutions that maximal development would be likely to occur. In addition such major universities are also the recipients of more federal and private moneys devoted to the support of scientific research. I am not aware of any careful sti of employment patterns of major universities. I do know that at my own campus, which is a part of the prestigious University of California system, over 50 percent of the faculty in basic sciences received their doctoral degrees from only nine universities. These nine universities are UC Berkeley, Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, UC San Diego, Columbia, MIT, UCLA and Michigan. In addition I understand that in practice these leading universities recruit for faculty almost exclusively from a pool of 20 select universities. I contend that not only do minority individuals have less likelihood of obtaining a doctoral degree in basic science than do whites, their likelihood of obtaining employment at a leading university is very low unless they obtain a Ph. D. or do postdoctoral work at one of the major research universities.
I do not mean to suggest that it is only the country's most prestigious universities that have underrepresentation of minorities on their faculties. In fact my own alma mater—the University of Arizona-has no Chicanos as regular ladder faculty in the biological or chemical sciences. This is true in spite of the fact that the University of Arizona sits in a major population center of MexicanAmericans.
A further example of the underutilization of minority doctorates is clear when one examines a major university in the Los Angeles area. This institution with over 400 ladder-rank faculty in basic sciences and engineering has only 1 Chicano (actually a Chicana) as part of these 400 science faculty. (This individual is one of the pool of 202 Chicano doctoral recipients of 1973–76 reported above). Thus at this major university, which is within 12 miles of a Chicano population of almost 2 million, only one member of this minority group has been recruited into the basic science faculty of the university.
Another example of underdevelopment of minorities and women in science was made clear to me recently. Last month I spent 5 days with 160 scientists discussing the most recent addvances in scientific understanding of physical and biological properties of the world's oceans. The meeting was highly productive in the exchange of ideas and the stimulation of further research. Of the 160 individuals at this meeting I was the only domestic minority individual present and only 4 of the participants were women. I acknowledge readily this low participation by women and minorities represents the reality of available minorities and women who are expert in this area of science. However, I do not acknowledge that this small number represets the true potential contribution of women and minorities to the study of the world's oceans.
This data describing underrepresentation and underutilization must have its roots in the underdevelopment of minorities and women. If we have human resources which are not permitted to grow and evolve then we must expect that these latent or underexpressed resources will of necessity be underrepresented and underutilized. The recognition of the need for programs which will help to solve the problem of underdevelopment has led to the implementation of a number of initiatives. A few of these initiatives have been successful. I will now discuss several of these and in closing I will propose several new initiatives which I urge the subcommittee to consider.
Foremost among the existing programs are the well-established NIH Minority Biomedical Support Program and the recently initiated NSF program of Resource Centers in Science and Engineering. The NIH program has 75 foci of activity nationally, while the NSF program has two centers operative at present, one in Atlanta, the other in Albuquerque. Both of these NSF centers sponsor large and comprehensive programs that are well integrated into the entire local academic system from the grade school level to the graduate and postdoctoral level. This integration involves supplemental instruction in all the basic science disciplines for some pre-college minority students as well as support for the research development or minority faculty. I am impressed with all aspects of the Atlanta Resource Center but particularly so with its highly successful Saturday Academy. I believe you are all aware that the Saturday Academy offers supplemental supportive instruction in basic science and stimulation for further science study to some pre-high school minority youngsters in Atlanta. I am also impressed with the Albuquerque center. A strong point in the New Mexico center is the active cooperation in science instruction between 2-year and 4-year institutions. As 1 have mentioned earlier presently only 2 Resource Centers for Science and Engineering exist; more are needed. I realize that more are planned, however, their formation is proceeding too slowly for me. I am anxious to have more centers because I am convinced that an integrated program which combines pre-college with college education stands the best chance of developing the scientific talents of minority youngsters.
NIH's Minority Biomedical Support Program has been successful for a long enough period to give me confidence that its impact will be long-lasting. Or course, its impact has been primarily in biological and health related areas. I understand that NIH has plans to expand this program into community colleges. I applaud this initiative, however, I urge NIH to make sure that the programs at 2-year institutions work to bring science instruction and curricula of such 2year colleges into close congruency with science programs at nearby 4-year institutions. Without close articulation between institutions students are frequently disadvantaged when transferring to a 4-year college.
The underdevelopment of women as science resources may actually be the result of 2 factors. One factor can be considered the broader ill-understood matter of women's roles in modern society while the second factor is the better understood problem of inadequate educational opportunity for women. Let me discuss the second factor first since it appears to have a ready solution.
Many educators now believe that inadequately developed academic strengths in mathematics serve to "filter" women out of science educational programs and hence out of science careers. Since this problem is recognized and acknowledged, a number of programs are operative across the country to try to solve it. Au example of a highly successful program is one offered at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley. The program is funded by the Office of Education through Title IV and it focuses on educating already employed teachers through 5-day long workshops at the Hall of Science. An important component of the program is the requirement that prior to attending the workshop participating teachers establish through their own research the status of young women in mathematics programs in the given school district. Once teachers develop their own knowledge in this they are more easily able to deal effectively with math avoidance problems and that girls demonstrate and they recognize the need to develop expanded intellectual aspirations in their bright female students. The coordinator of the program, Dr. Nancy Kreinberg, hopes to expand the program to include parent education. As Dr. Kreinberg states—“The only way to learn mathematics is to do it". Thus she insists that participating teachers reestablish their strengths in mathematics. The program promises to be a model that can be transported throughout the country and also promises to contribute to removing the “filter" that has kept more women out of science.