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Report on the 3rd Annual Conference on Understanding Interventions That Broaden Participation in Research Careers

On May 7–9, 2009, the Minority Affairs Committee of the American Society for Cell Biology and the Center for Advancing Science & Engineering Capacity at the American Association for the Advancement of Science held the Third Annual Conference on Understanding Interventions that  Broaden Participation in Research Careers. Three main groups were represented at the conference: directors and managers of programs designed to increase the number of undergraduate and graduate students pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees; evaluators of these programs; and scholars who conduct empirical research that illuminates the constellation of issues around educating and developing a diverse STEM workforce. Many people at the conference could claim membership in more than one these groups, and the dividing lines between them are not always clear. Nevertheless, these groups remain sufficiently distinct that when their members have an opportunity to engage each other in conversation, the outcomes can be both unexpected and energizing.