Where Are All the Black Academic Chemists?

Research by Donna Nelson, an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Oklahoma, finds that not only are there very few African Americans teaching chemistry at our nation’s most prestigious universities, but that the percentage of black faculty is far below the black percentage of all Ph.D.s in the field.

Professor Nelson’s data shows that blacks make up 8.8 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in the field of chemistry. From 1995 to 2004, blacks earned 3.3 percent of all Ph.D.s awarded in chemistry. However, only 1.3 percent of all faculty in the 50 most prestigious university chemistry departments are black. And blacks were only 0.7 percent of the assistant professors in tenure-track positions in these departments.

For more on Professor Donna Nelson’s research on black faculty in scientific disciplines, click here.