One way to encourage women to stay in science and move up to prominent positions is to reward them for their accomplishments. A small percentage of women are being nominated for and winning prizes at the highest levels, such as Nobel or Lasker awards. However, women may be overlooked at earlier stages of their careers, and that has a negative effect on their scientific futures.

Brigid Hogan, professor of cell biology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and one of four women on the Lasker Awards nomination committee, suspects that there are just not enough women who qualify for the upper-tier awards yet. "I have seen no evidence of any kind of discrimination or women being overlooked who are really meritorious," she comments. It takes a while for enough women to reach the level of the top prizes. This may be coupled with the fact that some men and women...

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