Association Affairs

AAAS Presidential Lecture: Voices from the Pipeline

Science  30 Sep 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4874, pp. 1740-1745
DOI: 10.1126/science.241.4874.1740


The number of white males of college age, who have been the dominant participants in the fields of science and engineering, is predicted to drop significantly in the future. Rapid increases in the participation of women offer some hope of filling anticipated vacancies in the ranks of scientifically trained personnel, although this rapid growth has reached a plateau in many fields. Most studies show that women enter graduate school at about the same rate as men; the dropoff in women's participation occurs sometime before the attainment of the Ph.D. Recent surveys of graduate students indicate that men and women respond differently to the pressures of graduate school and often have a different image of themselves and of their advisers' perceptions of them as graduate students. Some clues from these results may show how the environment can be made more supportive for all students, and for women and minority students in particular.