Sadly, women are not the only "minority" which is discriminated against in the sciences.
I, as a blind person, suffer from many preconceptions about my abilities in the sciences, which I have had to work very hard to overcome.
Yes, there are some things I can not do, such as microscope work, (or at least not with the acuracy of sighted persons), micro disection, and many other lab-related tasks.
However, I can learn the implications of the material as well as any other student, and, given a little extra help, can perform as well as other students in my classes.
Another area which is often a problem for me, is something which sighted people would never consider. Doubtless many here work in large university-based laboratories where equipment is strewn around rather haphazzardly.
For me, this is a problem, since many of the objects found in lab are things which
are smaller in terms of floor space than they are in area coverage at say head level.
I have had more than a few graduate students save both me and expensive eqwuipment from serious damage in the nick of time.
This is particularly frustrating, when the equipment flows out of laboratories and into hallways.
This happens frequently, and makes it difficult for me to see my professors in lab, as their labs may be some distance from the elevator, and so I have to pass by labs which are not very conscientious about keeping their extra refrigerators, autoclaves, etc out of the hallways.
Ihope that a few people will read this post, and think twice about where they put things in lab buildings, as people less able to deal with their placement may need to pass through the hallway, room, etc where they have left their equipment.
I am happy to discuss the matter further with anyone interested.
You can reach me at the address in my signature.
"The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets
which it must turn over to the next generation, increased and not
impaired in valued." --President Theodore Roosevelt
Matthew Weed weed-matthew at suned.zoo.cs.yale.edu