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AAAS and partners debut new online networks for clinical and minority scientists
Date:10/21/2009

tary service, and economic circumstances. Its objectives are similar to those of CTSciNet: It allows members to form communities to discuss education and jobs, research opportunities, and strategies for overcoming obstacles.

Participants can join discussion groups on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues or how to enhance diversity in science; they can learn about national conferences for minority scientists or how to foster a successful mentorship relationship. In addition, users can research employers committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workforce.

"Many students find themselves on campuses or in departments where they feel isolated, as 'the only' of whatever group with which they identify," said Shirley Malcom, director of AAAS Education and Human Resources. "They may not be comfortable talking about issues with those around them. Sometimes it is just a matter of knowing there are others who know what you are going through and being able to identify resources to address the challenges."

MySciNet is collaboration by AAAS and 10 other professional societies including the Association for Women in Mathematics, the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals, and the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.

Ric Weibl, director of the AAAS Center for Careers in Science and Technology, said that online community networks create opportunities for scientists and students to communicate with colleagues beyond their disciplinary and institutional barriers.

In the case of MySciNet, enabling these opportunities can also create connections that reduce the sense of isolation often experienced by underrepresented minorities.

"Building diverse networks is an invaluable skill that serves both the individual and science as whole," said Weibl. "Many of the biggest, most interesting research questions involve experts from across science and be
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Contact: Benjamin Somers
bsomers@aaas.org
202-326-6414
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Source:Eurekalert

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