women, minorities and Science

Linden Higgins linden at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
Fri Apr 5 14:57:08 EST 1996

>there's little boxed insert [in this weeks Science] on a factor we in the US
>don't like to talk
>about that may be more important than race or gender-social class.
>According to one researcher, the level of education of a person's
>parents is the best predictor of academic success. I can think of many
>exceptions off the bat, but that doesn't mean as a general rule it isn't
>true. Thoughts?
>Julia Frugoli
>Dartmouth College

I skimmed the box, but not carefully - but one thought comes to mind:  how
did they dissociate the level of education of a person's parents from race
and class?  Particularly as minorities are only recently entering academia
in significant numbers, most people whose parent(s) are well educated are
going to be middle-class whites and asian americans.  It seems as though
there are some confounding correlations here that make examining cause and
affect difficult.

However, it also strikes me that class may play as important, if not more
important, a role in getting and keeping women and minorities in academia.

It may be that this points to a general failing (again) of the schools in
getting non-parental role models and supporting bright children in science
and other intellectual pursuits.


Linden Higgins, Ph.D.
Dept. of Zoology,
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX  78712
linden at mail.utexas.edu

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