The value of diversity has become almost a cliché in industryand academia. But the fact remains that representation of African Americans, Hispanics, women and individuals with disability in many areas of the life sciences still lags behind the representation of these groups in the general population. While half of California elementary school students are black or Hispanic, just 2% to 3% of University of California faculty belong to these ethnic groups. One in five Americans has at least one disability, but just one in 20 of doctorate holders working in the life sciences in 2001 were disabled. And as is noted in "Where are the Black Scientists?" in this special supplement of The Scientist on diversity, the representation of blacks among tenured and tenure-track investigators at the National Institute of Health has actually fallen in the past decade, from 2% and 4.5%, respectively, to 1% and 1.5%.

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