Why aren't more women plotting to take over the world, create weapons of mass destruction, or steal Austin Powers's mojo? A recent report by the National Academy of Sinister Sciences shows that evil male scientists outnumber evil female scientists 100 to 1 as tallied by mentions in movies, TV, and literature. Of all the lab coat-wearing, diabolical geniuses that litter the landscape--Dr. Evil, Messieurs Frito and Lay, and Young Frankenstein among them--why no XX chromosomes?

Women face double discrimination in evil science, says Askno Kwestions, a sociologist at Doppleganger University. Men outnumber women in both science graduate programs and the business of evil. Just look at incarceration rates: "Men do twice as much jail time as women," Kwestions points out. Moreover, "boys' childhood war games are apt preparation for a life of evil science; girls waste their time with Barbies."

Not all agree that men are inherently more evil than women. Indeed, women "have what it takes," counters Vamp Institute for Scientific Equality (VISE) president Martha Stalwart, but they face a glass ceiling. "We have to be twice as conniving as our male peers to get credit," she states. Evil women used to get a lot more respect in the time of the Salem Witch Trials, says Stalwart somewhat wistfully, adding that women seeking to control nature may actually be losing ground.

A report by the National Evil Research Council (NERC) backs up Stalwart's glass ceiling contention in calling for more training and mentoring grants for women in evil science. "Women need role models," says the chair of the NERC committee, Tellno Lyes. "If Donna Shanana had turned to evil science, we'd have a lot more women coming up through the ranks."

The cry to close the gender gap in evil science can be heard around the world. Says German science advisor Gertrude Gravedigger: "The need for the principle of gender equality to be established in all national and European programs is increasingly recognized in European Union member countries. Forward-looking education and research policy must create the prerequisites for a fair representation of women in all areas and at all levels; simply to wait for gender balance is not an option."

But with more and more young evil women scientists choosing to exploit their malevolence in more lucrative careers in law, financial management, and government, progress promises to be slow. "And in any case," says an evil scientist wishing to remain anonymous, "nowhere does it say that evil science has to be fair."

Happy April Fool's Day!!