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Neil Degrasse Tyson on being Black, and Women in Science

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Published on Apr 21, 2014

Neil deGrasse Tyson was asked: Why aren't there more women in science?
He points out that he's never been a woman, but he does know what its like to pursue a career in a field that defied the expectations of society. He tells the audience that when he would tell teachers he wanted to be a scientists, they would ask him why he didn't want to be an athlete. Tyson pointed out that a black kid choosing a field in science was "hands down the path of most resistance" and that it was only through a constant struggle that he got to where he wanted to go. He then wonders aloud about the many other kids who didn't make it, because of the societal forces that put up barriers for them at every turn.

That, he concludes, is where we should be looking for the answers to the "male-female" and the "white-minority" gaps that pervade scientific fields. Start there.

"Before we start talking about genetic differences, you got to come up with a system that is equal opportunity. Then we can have that conversation."

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