Critics encourage scientific societies to address the needs of women members by accommodating children at professional gatherings

Last fall, Miriam Forman, director of professional programs for the American Physical Society, decided to break with tradition. At a major meeting of the society, held last month in Cincinnati, the children of the 2,000 members expected to attend would be as welcome as their parents.

Forman contracted a company to run a five-day program for infants and children, ran notices in Physics Today, the monthly journal published by the society's parent organization, the American Institute of Physics, and waited for the applications to roll in. But only two people signed up for the program, and she was forced to cancel the service.

Candace King Sykes has unhappy memories as a child of the scientific meetings she attended with her father, a corrosion engineer.

"I was bored to tears because we had to...

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