Brainy Quote of the Day

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Source: Link below
This year's APS Bridge Program meeting (June 25 – 27, 2014) focused on the role of the Master's degree in advancing underrepresented minority students toward PhDs in physics.

This is a very short article, but specifically one of the last paragraphs caught my attention:

This year's meeting focused on the role of the Master's degree in advancing URMs in physics. In her plenary talk, Sheila Lange, University of Washington, discussed results from an analysis of the Survey of Earned Doctorates that indicates URM students take very different pathways to doctoral degrees compared to White and Asian American students.

In my previous post "And Statistics," also discussed this subject in an admitted inequality (and I mean both mathematically and politically). Quoting from the link:

"The Asian > White > Hispanic > Black pattern permeates standardized testing: it is the same for the SAT, and is reflected in the recent race-based levels set by Florida and Virginia for grade schoolers' performance on state-wide standardized tests."

It is refreshing that academia is noting they tend to produce the "usual suspects." As a society, we have to promote STEM as an emancipator; as a "Path to Freedom" (Carl Sagan, and title of post) and a means to put a dent in the rising inequality that is pervasive in our country and American culture - easily seen systemic and designed in a primitive, backwards; archaic era. Faux controversies in accepted scientific discoveries only take us to such a state, and thus exacerbates an unsustainable status quo in the long run.

I got a note from our human resources to update my internal profile (modeled on, and largely pulled data from it). One of the questions other than "resume" and "experience" (apparently different), was the tab "languages," of which I indicated "French - beginner." I did take two years of French in high school and college respectively. Until I get a chance to freshen my gray matter with Rosetta Stone, I felt it the most honest assessment of my previous abilities to speak and write a romantic language.

We have to advocate and encourage diversity in a country based on "E pluribus unum" (out of many, one in Latin). We do not in a global economy have the luxury of a nearly homogeneous citizenry, nor do I believe such a populace in any country will be possible as humans constantly move about; find themselves employed in other nations not their own; fulfill the demands of their employers by being "flexible." To keep from being irrelevant on the world stage (and rather quickly), we will all need to be.

APS: APS Bridge Program Annual Meeting

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