Your recent articles on the status of black scientists, "Blacks Assail NIH's Plantation' Mentality [The Scientist, Nov. 26, 1990, page 1] and "NIH Inches Forward To Boost Ranks of Blacks Scientists" [Dec. 10, 1990, page 1], painted a bleak picture.

NIH's extramural program has a number of special programs designed for minority institutions. NIH also has initiated new programs to help underrepresented minority scientists obtain training. However, recent statistics released by NIH indicate that applications by black scientists represented less than 0.6 percent of all applications for competing R01 grants.

The chances for funding of these applications were almost half that for white applicants in 1989 (8.9 percent for blacks and 18.6 percent for whites, based on new applications, and 21.4 percent versus 41.4 percent for renewal applications). The average priority score for applications by black scientists was 303 in 1989, while for white scientists was 246.

Equally disturbing was...

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