National Science Foundation officials have set an ambitious goal for the agency and the scientific community--to make women an equal part of the United States scientific work force by the turn of the century.

For its role in the effort, NSF has appropriated $7 million in each of the last two fiscal years, toward expanding its programs to train, encourage, and retain women in science. The funding figures, which officials hope to maintain in the current budget process, represent a 200 percent increase over FY 1993 outlays for these initiatives.

"Part of our mission at NSF is to develop the talent in science and math," says Anne Petersen, who was sworn in as deputy director of NSF in September. "There is a real concern that we are losing a valuable national resource--by neglecting women we are ignoring half of all possible talent."

Indeed, NSF's own statistics bear out the formidable...

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