The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology recently announced the creation of a Diversity in Science Award for 2011.
According to the ASBMB Minority Affairs Committee, which established it, “the award will be given to an outstanding scientist who has shown a strong commitment to the encouragement of underrepresented minorities to enter the scientific enterprise and/or to the effective mentorship of those within it.”
The annual award will consist of a plaque, a cash prize and transportation expenses to present a lecture at the ASBMB annual meeting. The recipient, who need not be an ASBMB member, will be selected by the Minority Affairs Committee. Although the recipient can be from any racial or ethnic background, the committee hopes that many candidates and future recipients will be from backgrounds underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, serving as instant role models to young scientists.
“As we enter the new millennium and appreciate the abundance of scientific progress made during the last century, we must take heed that the extent of participation in the scientific enterprise by certain groups is regrettably far below the level commensurate with their representation in the general population,” the Minority Affairs Committee said in a statement. “This lack of representation, of course, is unhealthy for the prosperity and best interests of our country, as well as for science in general. We recognize that the ability to engage this underrepresented sector of our work force will require, among other interventions, proper mentorship, particularly by those with whom this sector shares close ethnic or cultural ties.”
Nicole Kresge (email@example.com) is the editor of ASBMB Today.