Misinformed: the Scientist Shortage
I noticed a very good article that should be read by all who believe that there is a scientific shortage in the United States. This blog, http://www.scienceprogress.org/2008/08/its-the-money-stupid/, indicates the fact that there is a very large margin between those students at the top of their game and those at the very bottom. The phrase "an enticing promise, an elusive goal" sums up the experience of many of the best and brightest pursuing science careers. All too often, the promise leads to an indefinite period of graduate school and postdoc training, which for many, is a difficult road that doesn't necessarily lead to any particular goal. Rather the inherent mobility that must take place for one's training in order to work at the "right institution" and for the "right person" can dissolve the familial roots. The author, a writer for ScienceCareers mentions that this option is not necessarily a good investment. A very good read for anyone considering a postdoc in the US and a reality check for all.
This quote pretty much sums it up:
"“I try to keep my best undergraduates away from my postdocs,” one professor confided, because meeting them would reveal what really lies ahead on the grad school track. But talented young Americans would flock to science study if it offered them the kind of career opportunities that previous generations enjoyed. Instead of a needless general overhaul of K -12 education, or an increase in graduate fellowships, which would only make things worse, the United States needs to overhaul what Brown University biochemistry chair Susan Gerbi calls the “pyramid paradigm.”"