In an increasingly global economy, making full use of all of the Nation's human resources is essential to successful international competition, world leadership in science and engineering, and an improved quality of life in the United States. Different perspectives, talents, and experiences produce better ideas and ultimately better goods and services to meet the needs of increasingly diverse markets in the United States and abroad. We need to involve all of the Nation's human resources in science and engineering to stimulate creativity, innovation, and change; contribute to the advancement of science and engineering; and foster a scientifically literate population.
We need to encourage all of the Nation's people to participate in science and engineering at each stage of the educational process and in the workforce. Some groups-women, minorities, and persons with disabilities-traditionally have not fully participated in science and engineering. Progress has been made in the achievement and participation of some of these groups but not consistently or at the same rate.
This report, the eighth in a series of biennial reports to the Congress, the administration, and others who direct public policy, presents data on participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering. It also documents factors important to success in science and engineering in precollege education, undergraduate and graduate education, and employment. The data and analyses presented here can be used to track progress, inform development of policies to increase participation in science and engineering, and evaluate the effectiveness of such policies.