This year's National Youth Science Camp -- which ended after a Friday night farewell banquet at Charleston's Scottish Rite Temple -- included a remarkable statistic: Girls outnumbered boys 2-to-1.
Each state picks two outstanding high school science stars to send to the annual West Virginia adventure, and girls dominated the 2013 top-ranked choices. This hints at deep cultural change, because girls once were considered less suited for science fields.
Across America, the rise of women's professional stature signals a far-reaching societal transformation. The American Enterprise Institute reported two months ago:
"For the current graduating class of 2013, the Department of Education estimates that women will earn 61.6 percent of all associate degrees this year, 56.7 percent of all bachelor degrees, 59.9 percent of all master's degrees and 51.6 percent of all doctor degrees. Overall, 140 women will graduate with a college degree at some level for every 100 men."
The National Bureau of Economic Research says women earned only 9 percent of business degrees in 1971, but their share has skyrocketed past half.
Since degrees are the gateway to high-paying careers, it seems inevitable that women will become major, or even chief, breadwinners in American life. More men may be dependent stay-at-home dads, or secondary earners. This would turn the historic family structure upside down.
The last we heard, American women earn only around 80 percent of male pay, overall -- up from 64 percent in 2000 -- but the gap seems sure to close.
The 2-to-1 ratio of brilliant girls at Science Camp may signal where America is heading. All we can say is, we wish them every success.