Washington Update

FASEB Comments on 2023 WMPD Data Tables

By: Jacqueline Robinson-Hamm
Thursday, March 23, 2023
On March 9, FASEB sent comments to National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) applauding the efforts taken to create the Diversity in STEM: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities (WMPD) report and data tables, yet expressed disappointment in the reduced number and utility of the 2023 data tables.

WMPD is a vital resource of information on historically excluded populations in science and engineering, including special tabulations that are not otherwise readily available in standard public data tables. The 2021 WMPD release included special tabulations of great interest to the biological and biomedical research community that are excluded from the 2023 release. For example, the current iteration no longer highlights primary source of support by race, sex, and broad field; information on postdoctoral scholars and early-career doctorate holders; graduate enrollment comparisons by field, degree, sex, and institution type such as historically Black colleges and universities and high-Hispanic enrollment institutions; and doctorate recipients by various demographics and Carnegie classifications.  

FASEB acknowledged the impact of COVID-19 on previously relied upon data sources, such as the 2020 American Community Survey, that likely affected NCSES’s ability to craft the full slate of WMPD data tables. Ultimately, NCSES’s transparent information on the scientific workforce and progress of STEM education in the U.S. is of utmost importance, and FASEB looks forward to the 2025 WMPD returning to robust data tables.