If you glance around university corridors or scientific meetings, it's obvious that African-Americans are uncommon in the world of science. A study in Science magazine now finds that the black scientists who do start careers in medical research are at a big disadvantage when it comes to funding.
People have been trying to do something about racial disparities in the world of science for several decades. William Lawson, chairman of the psychiatry department at Howard University in Washington, D.C., has thought a lot about how to increase the number of black research psychiatrists. He says for one thing, they're more likely to study issues important to that group.
"First of all, just becoming a scientist is, for many of them, a challenging part of their lives as well, because all along the line, there are many barriers towards reaching that level," he says.