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The Boston Globe

Metro

Adrian Walker

Evelynn Hammonds takes on a new cause

When Evelynn Hammonds was growing up in the 1960s, the popular image of a black woman in science was Lieutenant Uhura, the multilingual communications director on the USS Enterprise on “Star Trek.” Off-screen models were few.

A generation later, Hammonds — a Harvard professor who specializes in the history of science and African-American studies — hopes to take on one of the most intractable problems in academia: the severe shortage of women and people of color in science, technology, and medicine. It’s both an old problem, and one that hasn’t improved all that much in the years since it was recognized as a problem. It’s well-documented, but poorly addressed.

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