CEDS – Enhancing Diversity in Science

 A Leadership Retreat on the Role of Professional Associations and Scientific Societies

 A Summary Report

Recent studies continue to highlight that fewer underrepresented minorities are pursuing careers in science, and that leakages in the science pipeline for minority students and professionals happen at various stages—but especially within higher education (with more leakage happening at each successive educational level). As organizations, we represent just a small sample of an increasing number of professional associations and scientific societies concerned about building the scientific workforce to respond to global challenges and to the needs of an increasingly diverse population. We believe that increased communication and collaboration between individual associations and societies can be a key ingredient in reducing pipeline leakages for minorities. Similarly, as many associations and societies have well-established, successful “interventions” that address recruitment and retention, they can both learn from one another as well as work together to advise policymakers, higher education institutions, federal agencies, and foundations.

We conducted a large-scale survey of professional associations and societies in the Fall 2007, on minority training initiatives, measurement of outcomes, priorities, and future plans. The data from the survey are still being analyzed, but the tremendous amount of detailed responses has provided a useful framework for considering not only the structure of the retreat but plans for disseminating the recommendations and plans for action that will undoubtedly come out of it. We have truly been surprised by the breadth and depth of concern about this issue across a wide range of scientific disciplines. The goal of the February 28th Retreat was to spawn collaboration among associations, societies, federal agencies, and private foundations that has been, in many instances, lacking. Their collaboration is essential to enhancing recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities in science. Our hopes are that the retreat will forge new opportunities for these groups to work together, learn from each other, and develop common approaches, where appropriate. In turn, this group effort should enable key areas of progress.

 

 

 

 

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