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Keith H. Jackson, President Lawrence Norris, Treasurer National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) Throughout the 1990s the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) had been concerned about the lack of utilization of African-American physicists in national laboratories funded by the Department of Energy (DOE). In the context of this paper, utilization refers to the number of Ph.D.-level African-Americans with career-level appointments, on the sci- entific research staff of the laboratory. The NSBP had collected some pre- liminary data but in 1999 approached the Committee on Minorities (COM) in Physics of the American Physical Society (APS) for additional assis- tance. COM responded favorably to our request and formally took up the topic and sought to update and confirm the data. COM enlisted and re- ceived the full support of the NSBP. The data-gathering process was basic and straightforward. First, we simply telephoned the laboratories with a request for data. We also called the DOE field offices that oversee the labs, thinking they might have the data as well. We encountered insurmountable bureaucratic difficulties with both the laboratories and the field offices. We discovered that there is a huge chasm between the contractors and the federal government em- ployees. In the end our study was greatly helped by the American Physi- cal Society, which expended much personal and professional capital by writing personally to the lab directors. To their credit the laboratory di- rectors mobilized their respective staffs and provided the data we re- quested in an intelligible form. Our data show that, in general, African-American Ph.D. physicists rep- resent less than 1 percent of the Ph.D. physicists employed at the DOE labo- ratories. By comparison, African-Americans make up nearly 2 percent of

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PAN-~CANIZAHONAL SUMMIT TABLE 1 Number of African-American Ph.D. Level Physicists Employed in Career Positions at DOE-Funded National Laboratories DOE-Funded Total Number Ph.D. Total Number African- Percent of African- Laboratory Physicists on Staff American Physicists American Physicists Argonne 223 0 0.0 Brookhaven 335 1 0.3 Fermilab 472 1 0.2 Idaho National 27 0 0.0 . . Engineering Jefferson 79 0 0.0 Lawrence 187 2 1.1 Berkeley Lawrence 642 5 0.8 Livermore Los Alamos 686 2 0.3 Oak Ridge 182 0 0.0 Pacific Northwest 66 0 0.0 Princeton Plasma 94 0 0.0 Physics Sandia 264 0 0.0 Stanford Linear 115 0 0.0 Accelerator Totals 3372 11 0.3 Note: This table does not include those with postdoctoral appointments. For comparison, African-Americans receive 2.5 percent of Ph.D.'s awarded to U.S. citizens in physics each year.1 He physics faculties across He United States. These data include African-Ameri- can faculty members at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). These are the numbers, but what do they mean? On their face it ap- pears that the laboratories are not nearly as successful as academia in re- cruiting African-American scientists. Let me offer lost a few thoughts as to reasons: The nature of research and graduate training, the whole culture of what makes a successful career, is biased toward getting a faculty posi- tion. We want to be Professor Brilliant, instead of StaffScientist Brilliant. Many African-American physicists have a commitment to the idea of teaching at an HBCU. While this is undoubtedly true, it is also the case that the HBCU might be the only opportunity for an African-American . , . pursuing an academic career. 1Patrick J. Mulvey and Starr Nicholson, Enrollments and Degrees Report, AIP Pub. # R-151.38 (College Park, MD: American Institute of Physics, 2002), pp. 7-8.

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~ rid - But the bottom line is that the laboratories have shown little if any enthusiasm in recruiting domestic African-American scientific talent from HBCUs, or from majority institutions for that matter. It is important that we understand the relationship between the na- tional laboratories and the universities, which are responsible for the day- to-day management operations. DOE laboratories are government- owned but contractor operated (GOCO) or federally funded research and devel- opment centers (FFRDC). Thus the utilization of African-American physi- cists at the national laboratories is merely a reflection of their utilization on the contracting university campus. The human resources function at the laboratory mirrors that of the university: Many contractor university scientists have joint appointments with the laboratory. The contract between the laboratory and the university recognizes the "special relationship" between the university and the laboratory. The human resources function at the laboratory mirrors that of the university regarding scientific appointments. As a result of the above, personnel from established collaborations with university researchers are the first to learn of, and the first to benefit from, postdoc and staff scientist positions at the laboratories. Those not from that closed population have much less chance of obtaining a position. In other words, the institutional structure reinforces established "old boys' networks" that have not historically and still do not utilize African-American physi- cists, and by extension African-American scientific talent in general. As evidence to support our position, NSBP has compiled a portfolio of cases demonstrative of what can happen to an African-American job applicant at our national laboratories. Some of these cases are described here: One of our young members who completed a Ph.D. in computational physics at an HBCU applied for a postdoctoral position at a national labo- ratory. A secretary, upon seeing the Ph.D. institution, dismissed his appli- cation out of hand. NSBP became involved, but, after numerous discus- sions, was unable to have the applicant considered for an interview. In another case, a recent Ph.D. from one of the top five physics depart- ments in the United States was similarly rebuffed when he applied for a career-level position. Of interest here was that the applicant's experience and expertise were an excellent match for the posted job requirements. In fact, the applicant had some value-added skills. He was not granted the courtesy of an interview. When a member of NSBP spoke on the candidate's behalf, the scientist responsible for hiring stated that he had

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raft 9 PAN-~CANIZAHONAL SUMMIT "200 applicants for this staff position, some with over seven years of postdoctoral experience." It is well known that almost any scientific job posting results in a flood of resumes; most are from international appli- cants looking for positions so they can remain in or come to the United States. This example puts to rest the idea that affirmative action gives an African-American job candidate some preference in the scientific job mar- ket. His or her application is evaluated on the same basis as the 200 candi- dates that applied for the position. In the end the laboratory considered offering our applicant a postdoc, a position that was several steps below the candidate's skills and accomplishments. Also, in the summer of 2000, one of our most senior and distinguished members ran into exceptionally severe difficulties just trying to obtain a summer visiting appointment at one of the national laboratories. His ap- plication was treated in a manner inappropriate for a physicist with his credentials. NSBP speculates that it was because he was from an HBCU, though, ironically, he once worked at one of the laboratories where he completed what is considered outstanding research. These types of incidents are not isolated to the national laboratories. They also occur at the managing universities. In March 2001, Stanford University hosted the annual meeting of the NSBP and the National Con- ference of Black Physics Students. Stanford itself has graduated more African-American Ph.D.'s in physics than any other university, and the university made a special effort to host a reunion of all its African- American physics graduates at this event. Ironically, although members of the Stanford faculty spent a lot of time at the conference talking about all of the opportunities for a physics career, they apparently initiated no discussions of employment possibilities with some of our junior mem- bers nearing the end of their graduate programs or postdoc appoint- ments. No invitations to return to Stanford to give a seminar or collo- quia were extended. In fact, Stanford has not aggressively recruited its own graduates, who they cannot credibly say are not sufficiently trained for faculty positions. Before moving to our proposed solutions and actions, we ask a rhe- torical but important question: What should be the role of the DOE na- tional laboratories in terms of training and developing American human scientific talent? At the April 2001 APS meeting, Dr. Millie Dresselhaus (who had just finished a term as director of the DOE Office of Science, which manages and directs the DOE scientific research effort) mentioned that when DOE tries to do a major workforce development program they are told by either Congress or the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that that is not their mandate. But there are three important rea- sons why the DOE laboratories should have diversity, workforce utiliza- tion, and science education as some of their fundamental mandates:

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~ rip ok awls There is a major U.S. taxpayer investment in the laboratories, and yet a significant fraction of the taxpaying public is not being afforded the opportunity for employment at the laboratories. The laboratories are a fundamental part of the informal scientific ap- prentice system. A letter of recommendation from a scientist at a DOE labora- tory can make the difference between acceptance or rejection for a student applying to graduate school. These recommendations are particularly impor- tant for those who do not come from research-intensive institutions. These institutions, by their research, define the critical scientific skills and hence the job opportunities of the future. Every attempt should be made to ensure that citizens of the United States can take advantage of their investment. We turn finally to proposed solutions and actions that should be taken to address the utilization problem at the national laboratories. First, the laboratories should become intimately involved with the NSBP, which has been in existence for over 26 years. NSBP generally meets in February or March. These meetings are attended by serious scientists with whom the staff of national laboratories can form collaborations, partnerships, and student exchanges. Also in attendance are many students looking for opportunities and mentorship. The laboratories could also benefit from a site visit by a team composed of members of COM and NSBP to review the recruitment and hiring practices, workplace environment and equity, and quality of scientific outreach activities of these DOE laboratories. NSBP members possess considerable scientific expertise and are well in- formed about science resources within minority communities. Second, the laboratories should aggressively seek out and form re- search partnerships with faculty at HBCUs, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and tribal colleges. American Institute of Physics (AIP) statistics confirm that most African-American students who earn a baccalaureate degree do so at an HBCU, and most African-American physics professors teach at HBCUs. Research partnerships between research-intensive insti- tutions and HBCUs have historically paid great dividends in increasing the number of minority Ph.D. physicists. Each DOE lab, if not each divi- sion at each lab, should have a set of rich, active, vibrant collaborations with HBCUs, HSIs, and tribal colleges that include staff exchanges, i.e., sending lab personnel to the schools as visiting professors, and inviting professors to the laboratories as guest scientists, along with their students as fellows. Importantly, each laboratory has a Laboratory Directed Re- search and Development Fund (LDRD), i.e., funds under the control of the lab director meant to achieve lab-wide goals or pursue hot research projects that could be used to finance these initiatives.

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PAN-~CANIZAHONAL SUMMIT The laboratories should ensure that minorities participate on advi- sory committees and on annual divisional review committees at all levels. This is particularly true of laboratory divisions that operate publicly fi- nanced national user facilities. Diversity of the division staff and facility users should also be a topic to be reviewed. On this point, and upon the announcement of this year's Nobel Prizes, there is an important observation to be made. By ignoring interactions with HBCUs, as many of the lab divisions do, the laboratories are in effect en- forcing a form of scientific apartheid. Nobel laureates (and I have actually worked with two) cite as key to their success the fact that they have always been connected with good people and good facilities. To have a career marked with tremendous research success, participation in overall policy and funding direction of the science and engineering enterprise, and large program management, somehow one must be connected to mainstream researchers. NSBP believes the DOE national laboratories are one entry ramp for African-Americans to enter the mainstream research community. Given the recalcitrance and intransigence of the laboratories in work- ing with HBCUs, the NSBP recommends that Congress require 10 percent of the operating budget of the DOE laboratories be used to establish scien- tific relationships with HBCUs, HSIs, and tribal colleges, with the main rationale being that DOE should play a role in American science training. Third, the laboratories should make sure that bench scientists are given the responsibility of hiring and program direction to increase mi- nority participation. Too often too much is left to the human resources or lab diversity officer. In our survey and follow-on research we have found that this is a fundamental disconnect at the laboratories. Diversity officers often are not scientists and have few contacts amongst working scientists. NSBP has found that most of their job content involves protecting the laboratory from lawsuits from current employees, not the recruitment of future employees. In fact, we found that relegating minority concerns to a diversity of- ficer is seriously hindering diversity efforts. The amount of paperwork and FTE resources devoted to processing this paper gives only an illusion of effort in recruiting and diversity workforce development. The anec- dotal evidence suggests many searches are not truly open, and often a candidate is identified before the job is posted. This pre-identified candi- date is drawn from the small pool of students and fellows of established collaborators; i.e., outside the pools of minority researchers. This situation needs to be remedied; it has a deleterious effect on diversity efforts. More- over, the resources applied to generating diversity reports and plans could be better applied to establishing the true personal connections necessary to embrace the minority community, as recommended in the preceding text.

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~ rift 1~ Many senior laboratory personnel somehow think that K-12 science outreach efforts will solve the problem. The laboratories will bring in kids for a day of show and tell, but will not invite serious African-American scientists to serve on review panels and policy boards. Furthermore, the laboratories are not committed to programs to improve the scientific skill sets of not only professors and students from HBCU's, HSI's, or tribal colleges, but of all U.S. students of science. There is no intensive program to train undergraduates and graduate students in the use of neutron sources and synchrotron light sources for scientific research, yet the DOE is investing a large portion of the budget of the Office of Science in the construction and operation of these facilities. Finally, we assert steadfastly that the Congress must exercise some oversight. It was stated previously that we endured a tremendous amount of frustration in getting data from the laboratories and the DOE field of- fices. We were sent data that were cryptic, unintelligible (e.g., with unde- fined acronyms), and in some cases so obviously outdated that they con- stituted a bad faith effort if not absolute fraud. There is little external motivation for the contractors, e.g., University of California, University of Chicago, University of Tennessee, to comply with outside requests for these data. Their contract to run the laboratories is not at risk over diver- sity issues. While the management contracts require a diversity plan, there are few, if any, sanctions for failure to adhere to the plan. Congress must ensure that diversity performance in the crucial regard is strongly and explicitly stated in the management contracts, and oversee that perfor- mance as only Congress can. Now is the time for bold action. Enough data gathering, audits, and assessments have been done to diagnose the problems. DOE, the contrac- tors, and the scientists that manage and direct the laboratories know what the numbers are, and they are unsatisfactory. We are dealing with very small numbers that perhaps defy rigorous statistical analysis and control grouping, but that does not excuse the singular lack of improvement in the numbers. It is possible for the situation to change but only if the motivation for change is high. NSBP calls for bold congressional action because the time for commissions, reports, diversity plans, and statements is past. The Congress ultimately is the board of trustees for the laborato- ries, and the ball is firmly in its court.