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A Call For Sensitivity

Several days ago I received in the mail, among other things, my copy of the March 16, 1992, issue of The Scientist.Also in the mail was a copy of a sales catalog from a Maryland-based supplier of science-related products. What linked these two mailings was their front pages. A lead article in The Scientist noted that Native Americans are making slow, but forward, progress in joining the ranks of doctoral-level scientists. The article makes a strong point for role models for Native American stud

Lawrence Coleman
Several days ago I received in the mail, among other things, my copy of the March 16, 1992, issue of The Scientist.Also in the mail was a copy of a sales catalog from a Maryland-based supplier of science-related products. What linked these two mailings was their front pages. A lead article in The Scientist noted that Native Americans are making slow, but forward, progress in joining the ranks of doctoral-level scientists. The article makes a strong point for role models for Native American students. In particular, it calls to us all to encourage Native American students to consider careers in research.

Unfortunately, the sales catalog from the company does more harm than The Scientist's article may do good. Its cover shows two people in "red face" as a parody of "natives" adorned with a variety of the company's products. The insensitivity of this photo is astounding. It reinforces negative stereotypes...

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