Refugio I. Rochin, Michigan State University
Although the representation amonng our group differs from that of the others, many of the problems are similar. Our group was composed of professionals in experimental biology, theoretical mathematics, applied social sciences, health care, and social work.
We found very little literature on the history of science that addresses the contributions of Latinos in Ihe Midwest. We do have some scattered literature on world Hispanic and Latin American heritage, e.g., Domingo DeSoto, whose work was used by Galileo and Francisco Hernandez. There also exists some literature from Mexico on Mayan science and on Aztec health and nutrition, the latter hy Bernard Ortiz de Montellano at Wayne State University.
There have been several contributors to science who are virtually unknown and do not appear in Men and Women in Science, Who's Who, or other similar publications. The Alvarez family has not been given due credit in the history of science textbooks for their contribution to astronomy. Scientists like these need to be written about to balance the record and develop a profile for Latinos in science.
We believe the following factors have retarded the development of a literature on Latinos in science in the Midwest:
(a) The general lack of relevant and consistent data on Latinos in the Midwest. This is one-half of a negative circle because it is difficult to justify funding requests for research without the data to support proposals submitted for national or state funds.
(b) Thc competition for funds in an environment in which Black/White issues are perceived as of primary importance.
(c) Geographical and disciplinary obstacles to collaborative networks among the few and scattered Latino scientists.
An area in which the absence of research is cause for serious concern involves new aproaches to make science education as a field study attractive to Latino youth. We are losing ground to television and feel it is impossible to fight back. The future appears bleak when science does not seem to offer a solution to the social problems that have beset our youth.
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Dr. Juan Mestas, Deputy Chair
National Endowment for the Humanities
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Dr. George Sanchez, The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Dr. Victor Ortiz, The University of Illinois
Dr. Felix Masud-Piloto, DePaul University.