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A new assistive technology for people with severe paralysis and a study of the now-extinct saber-tooth tiger’s powerful forelimbs were among Dolly J. Krishnaswamy’s favorite reporting assignments during a summer reporting internship at Science magazine.

Local networks of experts can show communities how to bring more women and minorities to science and technology careers, according to a new report released by AAAS’s Center for Advancing Science & Engineering Capacity. It’s a strategy modeled after the well-known extension services approach pioneered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which link farmers to agricultural researchers.

Despite modest improvements over the past decade, underrepresented minorities still face significant institutional and cultural barriers pursuing science and engineering degrees, AAAS Education and Human Resources Director Shirley Malcom warned in testimony on Capitol Hill.