In 2009, fewer than 2% of physical science degrees—like physics and chemistry—went to African-Americans. Considering African-Americans make up 12% of the U.S. population, these numbers are shockingly low. And they’re getting even lower. In the second episode of our ongoing series about STEM education, we ask: what does a scientist look like? Short, tall, black, brown, male or female? We talk to Lindsey Kraatz, Sam Lake, Daniel Maxey, and Stephanie Salisbury about their outreach project at William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science. We also hear about what might be keeping American girls out of laboratories, and Laura Puaca (Christopher Newport University) explains the WWII history of Edna the Engineer.
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Loved the interview with Laura Puaca about the early days of the Society of Women Engineers! I would have also enjoyed some follow up about what SWE is doing today. Also, the statistics on women PhDs in engineering are overstated. According to the American Society for Engineering Education, women earned 1913 engineering PhDs in 2008, 21.1% of the total.
Thank you for listening. We’re glad you enjoyed the interview with Laura. Thanks, too, for calling our attention to the work SWE is doing today (how cool that they’re still in action!). Please encourage others interested in this issue to post comments here on our website or on facebook. We’d love to get a discussion going!