Our Impact

“The responsibility for training minority scientists is not just the responsibility of minority scientists; it’s the responsibility of all scientists.”
 - Maria Elena Zavala, former SACNAS president

National Impact

Each year, the impact SACNAS has in our communities and in diversifying the nation’s scientific workforce, broadens. SACNAS is not just a society with a mission, it is a movement; a movement advancing the most underserved and most underrepresented minority groups in science.

The Last 20 Years of Minorities in Science

In 1989, just over 15,000 PhDs in science and engineering were granted, 387 to Hispanic and 55 to Native American U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Of the nearly 21,000 PhDs in science and engineering granted in 2009, the total awarded to Hispanics tripled to 1,131. But, in 20 years, the number of PhDs awarded to Native Americans only increased by 24, totaling 79 degrees granted in 2009. The numbers for both populations show a desperate need. In this era, the necessity to diversify the nation’s scientific workforce is at critical mass, especially as the U.S. population becomes increasingly minority and the country as a whole struggles to maintain its position as a global science and technology leader. Source: National Science Foundation (NSF) report, Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities, Table 21.

Addressing the Need

Early initiatives of SACNAS’ pioneer scientists and founders included nationwide networking, securing funding, and organizing the first SACNAS conference in 1978, which attracted about 200 people from across the country. Today, the society serves over 25,000 members and friends at more than 1,000 institutions, agencies, and programs across the world. Partners in the SACNAS movement of advancing Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in science participate in our national conference, year-round programs, policy advocacy work, and partner with us on our strategic initiatives.

Our Impact – SACNAS 2010

  • 3,350 registered attendees at the SACNAS National Conference
  • 1,396 undergraduate and first-time students
  • 975 students received travel scholarships
  • 883 student scientific research presentations
  • 370 local area community day student and parent guests
  • 225 professionals served as student presentations judges
  • 150 professionals reviewed over 1,000 student research abstracts
  • 311 partner and sponsor institutions in the exhibit hall
  • 119 cash awards granted for student research presentations
  • mitigated impact on the environment through our partnership with NativeEnergy

In Recent Years

  • Since 1996...15,591 students have attended the SACNAS National Conference. Of those, 7,102 presented their scientific research and received one-on-one mentoring from an equal number of professional volunteers, abstract reviewers, exhibiting partners, and conference judges.
  • Since 2004...SACNAS has awarded 4,699 travel scholarships for students to attend the SACNAS National Conference, or distributed approximately $5M in financial support from federal grant funders and conference sponsors.
  • Since 2007...SACNAS student chapters have more than doubled to over 60, and they are located everywhere across the country and in Puerto Rico from top research universities to community colleges and high schools.