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ERIC Number: ED503414
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 27
Abstractor: ERIC
Untapped Talent: The African American Presence in Physics and the Geosciences. AIP Report. Number R-444
Czujko, Roman; Ivie, Rachel; Stith, James H.
Statistical Research Center of the American Institute of Physics
This paper presents data covering the representation of African Americans among physics and geoscience degree recipients at each stage of the educational system. The data were collected by several statistical agencies and are here provided in far more detail than has ever been available before. By placing all the data in one place, this paper presents a snapshot of the supply side of physics and the geosciences. In addition to compiling the data from disparate sources into one document, this report also places the education of African American physicists and geoscientists within the larger context of the educational system and social structure. The lack of adequate representation of African American physicists and geoscientists cannot be understood without a thorough examination of the role of African Americans in the educational system as a whole, beginning with high school preparation and extending to the relationship between geographical location and higher education. Then, it is essential to examine the structural barriers some students must circumvent. This paper identifies institutions that have been able to remove or reduce some of these barriers so that we know where we might find solutions to help students overcome these obstacles. This report highlights the striking contributions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in supplying the scientific workforce of African Americans. It also lists departments that have been successful in attracting and retaining African American students so that they might be used as role models by departments wishing to increase their numbers of African American students. The data in this report allow institutions to evaluate the extent to which they have been serving the science education needs of African American students. These data can be used by departments that have noticed that the racial composition of their majors differs significantly from the composition of the undergraduates attending their institutions. (Contains 17 tables and 5 figures.)
Statistical Research Center of the American Institute of Physics. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3067; Fax: 301-209-0843; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Authoring Institution: American Institute of Physics, Statistical Research Center
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A