October 26, 2011

Native science nerds

National science group strives to break barriers for Latinos, Native Americans

By Joe RodriguezWhere are the Latinos and Native Americans in science?

On paper, they hardly exist statistically. But anyone walking or driving through downtown San Jose this week will see about 3,600 Hispanic and American Indian lab rats, nerds and geeks crossing the streets from hotels to convene at the McEnery Convention Center.

The Society for the Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, or SACNAS, was born almost four decades ago to break down barriers and increase their numbers in the so-called STEM fields--science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Aside from brainy speeches, research presentations, workshops and mentoring, a highlight of the four-day conference figures to be the closing powwow. Imagine biologists and physicists stepping to some of the oldest spiritual dances in the world.

"As you can see, we'll have a lot going on," said Judit Camacho, SACNAS executive director.
Comment:  For more on Native science, see Chippewa Inventor Has 35 Patents and Navajo/Zuni Astronomer.

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