An April 1989 report from the National Science Foundation's Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering tells us that, in 1983, when women represented more than 50 percent of all undergraduates in United States colleges and universities, they earned only 30 percent or 116,000 of all the science and engineering bachelor's degrees awarded. The report also tells us that in 1985 women received only 198 or 6.7 percent of the 2,967 engineering doctorates handed out in the U.S. Such statistics clearly underscore the woeful underparticipation of women in science and engineering.

There are several reasons we should be concerned about this situation. First, this underparticipation which stems from a lack of encouragement and confidence in the study of science and engineering prevents their involvement in the formulation of national and local science policies and decisions affecting our country's future. It is especially unfortunate when they are prevented from providing...

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