A Future Segregated by Science?

via thesituationist.wordpress.com
via thesituationist.wordpress.com

Let me say up front: I’m not a science guy.

I have always loved science, but I have always loved the arts — drawing, painting and, yes, writing — more.

My deepest foray into science came in high school when I won my way to the international science fair. (Don’t get too excited; that sounds more impressive than it was.) It was 1988, and I had produced a project about why the “Star Wars” missile defense system wouldn’t work. My project was a beautiful monstrosity made of stained and varnished plywood, with an insert for a diorama of missiles flying, lasers blasting and a midair explosion, and a cutout with space for a small television and a VCR (yes, I’m that old).

I won the district fair — in part, I suspect, because the judges’ pool was heavily populated by members of the military — even though I had violated one of the cardinal rules of science fairs: I hadn’t actually done an experiment. Mine was a fancy research project — like a 3-D opinion piece. But it didn’t matter. The airline lost the whole project when I flew to the international science fair, so I never got to compete.

Although my science dreams were dashed, I still loved science. And I’ve long been surrounded by science people. My ex-wife was a physics major. My oldest child is a biology major, and when my twins enter college next year, one wants to major in physics and the other in a scientific field to be determined.

But their interests defy a distressing disparity: Few women and minorities are getting STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degrees, although STEM jobs are multiplying and pay more than many other careers.

This raises the question: Will our future be highly delineated by who does and who doesn’t have a science education (and the resulting higher salary), making for even more entrenched economic inequality by race and gender?

According to : “STEM job creation over the next 10 years will outpace non-STEM jobs significantly, growing 17 percent, as compared to 9.8 percent for non-STEM positions.”

Read more: A Future Segregated by Science?


See Also

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