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Training Scientists...another Great American MisAllocation of Capital

 
 
Reply Sat 7 Jul, 2012 03:49 pm
Quote:
Michelle Amaral wanted to be a brain scientist to help cure diseases. She planned a traditional academic science career: PhD, university professorship and, eventually, her own lab.

But three years after earning a doctorate in neuroscience, she gave up trying to find a permanent job in her field.

Dropping her dream, she took an administrative position at her university, experiencing firsthand an economic reality that, at first look, is counterintuitive: There are too many laboratory scientists for too few jobs.

That reality runs counter to messages sent by President Obama, the National Science Foundation and other influential groups, who in recent years have called for U.S. universities to churn out more scientists.

Obama has made science education a priority, launching a White House science fair to get young people interested in the field.

But it’s questionable whether those youths will be able to find work when they get a PhD. Although jobs in some high-tech areas, especially computer and petroleum engineering, seem to be booming, the market is much tighter for lab-bound scientists — those seeking new discoveries in biology, chemistry and medicine.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-pushes-for-more-scientists-but-the-jobs-arent-there/2012/07/07/gJQAZJpQUW_story.html?hpid=z2

Obama is such a ******* moron....pushing youth to dream dreams which can not be realized is highly dangerous. These are usually the first people to call for burning it all down.

Yet again we see that Americans are dreadfully unable to prioritize.
 
Val Killmore
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jul, 2012 03:58 pm
@hawkeye10,
Somewhat related to my AIDS thread, on the matter of hope.

Prepared to get beat down by some ruffians here in a2k who loves to mock and ridicule.

Quote:
pushing youth to dream dreams which can not be realized is highly dangerous

It's not dangerous, but it's just an experience. Getting research grants is a cut throat business. If you want to get those million dollar grants that will fund your research for a year, you have to beat a thousand kids who are your competition.
That's life.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jul, 2012 04:08 pm
@Val Killmore,
According to history it is highly dangerous....once people decide that those in power have fed them lies all their life they are often ready and willing to light the petrol.

BTW I am routinely beat upon by the mob at A2K...I just don't give a ****. I believe in truth.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Sat 7 Jul, 2012 08:24 pm
@hawkeye10,
Unfortunately, your vesrion of "truth" is seen from the vantage point of the armchair.
Grant writing isnt always the best science, its the best science at that moment as defined by a committee. Grants and support often yield nothing. Thats not the measure of science anyway.

We toodle along practicing within some system of fact until we discover (often by accident) that there are major glitches in our original worldviews that, the modification of which, makes a far more elegant understanding of the cosmos (or the earth)

In my science, its a fabulously applicable tale of how thousands of scientists were content to practice within a worldview where a static mantle /crust couple is the way of the planet. All forces were vertical only (in the crust and mantle). Suddenly, with new data (collected for an entirly different reason, namely WWII) we discovered that the surface of the earth has been moving sideways all around. This discovery has made the theoretical model of the planet much more elegant and the application of geosciences as a brand new a tool with much more precise metrics. Our searches for metals, fuels, and our understandings of the sinister sides of our planet are all much more precision based ever since the late 1950's when the mechanisms of drift were beginning to be undesrtood all based upon early "sonar and magnetic " searches for German subs.

In other adjacent fields, the undesrtanding and manipulations of the smallest information particles of life have allowed us to create and "dope" our own genetic makeup with "knock out" and SNP genes. We are slowy getting into th drivers seat of life, (and crating new ethical and political situations as we proceed). We need the newly trained, flexible and creative minds to sift through these scientific mazes with new eyes and un ossified minds. AND, without this training we dont have scientists , we have hobbyists, as Spenser called " STamp Collectors ". We also need teachers with theoretical and applied experience to convey these TOOLS to the incoming batches of new scientists.

.
.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jul, 2012 08:38 pm
@farmerman,
Whether science is worthwhile to spend money on is irrelevant to the question of whether it is good idea to encourage and educate X + 5(?)x people to go into science when the economic system will only reward X of them with a paycheck. We can say the same thing about engineers, where we constantly babble on about how we need more engineers but then need to notice that by middle age the economy is rewarding only a tiny sliver of those who entered the field.

Economic reality must be obeyed until and unless it is changed.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2012 12:00 am
@hawkeye10,
You should read your Malthus and try to unerstand its general applications in economics, biology, sociology, and education.

The market is always self correcting and has alwayed led the output of techies .

Most Uni grad programs are supported heavily by industry and there are usually defined class size , by virtue of how many supported faculty positions there are for each subdiscipline.

Civil Engineering has subsumed several areas of agriculture, soils mechanics, etc so a rounded disciplanary program would have the wider offerings based upon support. and market outlooks that have always been incorrect.

At Penn State for example,some major areas in science grad offerings (until recently) were such things as "Museum Studies" -how many museum positions per year do you think there are nationally and how many other major Unis are also offering same? Result is a glut of PhD's waiting to work at tne Museum of NAt History. These guys have mostly been picked up by an emerging oil and gas industry.
The market defines the need for all skills. If you feel that you or your child have been misled about the job market, the education process doesnt guarantee anything, It merely provides a skill and an opportunity. Going into a grad program should not (some unsolicited advise for students worldwide) be entered into unless they have done some research ON THEIR OWN re: a potential sustainable market for their skills. Changing needs for talent always dictates the schools output , and the output is based upon faculty which is then , opportunistically based upon support .

Merely a desire to "do something good" smacks of some kids getting some really pissy advice during their early academic careers in senior high. Most good HS's maintain a strong network to their "honored graduates" who are asked for advice and support in areas of their careers .

Unis are a business also and they sure as hell dont want a bunch of research-free teachers with classes of one student each. Thats aguarantee against tenure.
I started with a grad degree in chem and soon got the shits of the entire market. Id been misleading myself of my own dedication to a lonely life dedicated to one or two chemical reactions. My own dedication Woouldnt stand that so I got out and started on another path.

Schools are terrible leaders to the jobs market, they, at best, try to respond to market needs with as little lost time as possible.

You are generalizing here Hawkee

hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2012 12:19 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
The market is always self correcting.


Not if the market is selling hopes and dreams when the buyers do not have a firm grasp on reality. What Obama should be doing is encouraging the best and the brightest to go into science, while warning that there are not enough jobs for the grads. America would be better off if we educated fewer scientists and used the money that is wasted on those who will never work in the field to educate these future scientists better. What we see here is an economic system and a political system which both fail to properly allocate assets.

Quote:
Going into a grad program should not (some unsolicited advise for students worldwide) be entered into unless they have done some research ON THEIR OWN re: a potential sustainable market for their skills.


Sure, but the law schools are still full today aren't they even though almost everyone knows that they produce way too many lawyers for the job market to suck up. Hope rings eternal, people tend to think that they will be one of the bright lucky few who still get lots of offers for high wage employment.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2012 12:42 am
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
Quote:
Not if the market is selling hopes and dreams when the buyers do not have a firm grasp on reality
You really believe this ?? wow. I cant help you dude
Quote:
. What Obama should be doing is encouraging the best and the brightest to go into science, while warning that there are not enough jobs for the grads
This is more a responsibility of the SCHOOLS (HS and undergrad colleges). TheUS govt should be providing a nurturing business friendly environment for science to bloom. SInce we dont make anything anymore maybe Obama should try to get the "making and producing" segment of industry back on shore Im beginning to read that youre just bitter about something here Hawkee. I dont have the time or the inclination to ferret it out. If you understood it better
youd know that we train MOST of the worlds students in science and engineering

Quote:
What we see here is an economic system and a political system which both fail to properly allocate assets.

You are beginning to sound more liberal than I. IF your HS dont provide leadership, run for school board and see whether your area of the state is supportive of strong local leadership in science.

State colleges produce most of the educators for the HS's in the state. I d0 see a need to eviscerate all the leaden aministrators in state teachers colleges who are the ones that suck up resources without providing any value.

Education is a license to influence and stimulate students. THrowing up your hands isnt realistic acuse we actually are short in producing scientists in many dsiciplines. We need to instill a love of science and math in kids in the grades but teachers are ill equipped to act as the stimulators of nascent talent. Teachers who teach sciences in HIS need to be scientists themselves (IMHO). When teachers programs spend as much time demanding excellence in reaching te subject as they do on bullshit sociology or education coursework, then we maybe producing more and better scientists. I use to tach summer teachers institutes in the earth sciences and I was always depressed at how ignorant of the subject most of the teachers were. Yet all were earth science and physics teachers.

For the student,Being prepared for college level work and using college as a jumping off point to a path of knowledge is the way it should be. I just dont agree wih your premise of the thread , its kind of a simplistic view and to get the brightest and best we need to train many more, not do some Germanic "culling " of the very bright from the extremely bright. WE SHOULD have separate technical training for those kids that wouldnt otherwise be interested (or not able to jump into the rigor of a full fledged science major), but that has no bearing on the number of smart kids who we prepare for careers in science. I dont see an overproduction. In fact, in geology, there is a screaming need for thousands of trained grad level (MS or PHd) to work in the energy indstry and this time, the sustainability fuyire is about 20 plus years.

farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2012 12:54 am
@hawkeye10,
A decent formula for a grad program in a science in an elite U is that most all of the students are on fellowships or research assistantships or TA's. Most of these are based upon the level of support for that program and thats usually a good measure of the job availability.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2012 12:57 am
Ofcourse it might have something to do with the fact that a large proportion of the basic research in this country comes from government funding, and there is one political party which has spent decades trying to slash research funding not just to the bone but to the point of grinding the bone into powder, and politicising and demonizing research (think stem cells). That may just possibly have something to do with the lack of jobs. Which is one reason why, if you're pissed off at the lack of such jobs, you should think very carefully about your vote this November.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2012 01:01 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
You really believe this

yes

Quote:
Im beginning to read that youre just bitter about something here Hawkee.

Concerned for my collective. Without an educated and somewhat rewarded citizen democracy does not work. Neither does our economy so long as we must compete with peoples of the world who do it better

Quote:
If you understood it better youd know that we train MOST of the worlds students in science and engineering

as a EE major I am sure I dont understand a thing

Quote:
You are beginning to sound more liberal than I

This is news? I am a socialist

Quote:
but teachers are ill equipped to act as the stimulators of nascent talent.

And are not motivated to do so either. We have been talking about this problem for how many decades now? If anything the problem seems to get worse.

Quote:
I was always depressed at how ignorant of the subject most of the teachers were. Yet all were earth science and physics teachers.

When I went to an Il school that used tracking 1976-1980 Earth Science was what you took if you were not intending to go to college. The state science credit mandate needed to filled, and Earth Science was the dumping place. This fact has nothing to do with this thread.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2012 01:04 am
@MontereyJack,
Thats true in the "National LAbs"programs also. Ther missions have alays been basic research that pulls back the curtins in many sciences. It used to be a treasure trove for providing applied science gimos and methodologies. Theyve also been slashed to seriously low levels as if their missions were debatable (Debatable by whom? usually some politician who has little connection to these facilities )
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2012 01:08 am
@MontereyJack,
MontereyJack wrote:

Ofcourse it might have something to do with the fact that a large proportion of the basic research in this country comes from government funding, and there is one political party which has spent decades trying to slash research funding not just to the bone but to the point of grinding the bone into powder, and politicising and demonizing research (think stem cells). That may just possibly have something to do with the lack of jobs. Which is one reason why, if you're pissed off at the lack of such jobs, you should think very carefully about your vote this November.


America has turned away from science just as we have turned away from reality in general. Blaming one political party for the lack of jobs in unfair, because the majority of the american people would be pissed if the government spent more on basic sciences. Just as one example we have a hard enough time funding the most basic medical research even though we as a nation spend goobs of money on health care. Only military science gets easy funding and now that is ending as well.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2012 01:08 am
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
as a EE major I am sure I dont understand a thing
Seiously, elites are training more foreign students than our own. They have acceptance standarsd beyond mere "legacy" quotas.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2012 01:19 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
Seiously, elites are training more foreign students than our own


Yep, and we used to talk about how americans get something out of the deal because maybe they will stay here and contribute to America. Now what? Dont they usually assert from the beginning that they will complete their studies and then go home? What do we get.....a few years of poor quality TA'ing and maybe a bit of research work. YIPPEE!
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2012 01:22 am
Quote:
Blaming one political party for the lack of jobs in unfair, because the majority of the american people would be pissed if the government spent more on basic sciences


No, I don't think it's unfair, because they have in fact worked for years to cut the funding that would enable the research that would employ scientists. There is a certain know-nothing segment of the American populace that is vocal far above their numbers. Unfortunately they are the small core that party panders to. I don't think they're representative of the country as a whole. Again, review the poll numbers on stem cell research and its politicized restrictions.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2012 01:31 am
@MontereyJack,
I concede the point to an extent
Quote:
Just 35 percent of conservatives said they had a "great deal of trust in science" in 2010, a 28 percent decline since 1974, when 48 percent of conservatives—about the same percentage as liberals—trusted science. Liberal and moderate support for science has remained essentially flat since 1974, according to Gordon Gauchat, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He published his findings in the journal American Sociological Review

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/03/29/study-conservatives-trust-of-science-hits-all-time-low-

But I argue that the failure of the failure of K-12 science education over the decades to light a fire under the people indicates that science is a low priority with the American people.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2012 03:32 pm
@hawkeye10,
It is interesting to me that the story linked in the OP is currently trending the most popular story at WashingtonPost.com. My guess is that the idea that we maybe should not be trying to encourage more people to go into science is interesting to the masses because it is provocative .
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2012 07:15 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

We can say the same thing about engineers, where we constantly babble on about how we need more engineers but then need to notice that by middle age the economy is rewarding only a tiny sliver of those who entered the field.

Don't know what you are reading but engineers have no trouble getting employed right out of school (even in the depths of the recession) and routinely work until retirement if they are half-way decent.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2012 07:33 pm
@engineer,
Perhaps I have made the assumption that failure to retain engineers in the field is caused by lack of opportunity. I dont know this for a fact

Quote:
Don’t follow in my footsteps.” These days, seemingly every conversation about the future of engineering includes an apocryphal story about an engineer who advises his children to find another line of work because engineering has no future. Yet until a recent set of surveys and analyses, we knew little about who stays in engineering, why people leave the field, and what happens to them after they leave.

I have read those surveys and I can tell you that engineering still offers many of its traditional rewards to men and women who pursue it, and also for those who use it as a springboard into other careers.

Our investigation into the career path of engineers grew out of similar concerns, especially about women in engineering. Members of the Corporate Partnership Council of the Society of Women Engineers were concerned about retaining women in the field. They had heard many stories about women who had left their companies to become full-time mothers or when they sought some accommodation to their family life. In addition, for years there were vague stories about women who left engineering because of mistreatment by their colleagues.

These stories seemed to zero in on women’s leaving as problematic, without understanding the larger context of job turnover in engineering. In fact, many people—men and women—leave the field, and not always under a storm cloud of hostility.
.
.
.
We have learned many things from this survey. For instance, many engineers are not profoundly satisfied with their jobs. This may be because they are unhappy with their work, or because turmoil in the economy and larger changes in the workplace result in anxiety about job security.

The data also show that, yes, engineers do tend to leave the field, but we see few important gender differences in this attrition. Contrary to popular stories, it is not the case that women are more likely than men to leave the field. Instead, there are larger differences in attrition across engineering disciplines. In addition, the data show that those who leave are not necessarily less satisfied with their jobs than those who stay.

That’s an important finding. It highlights that moving from job to job in a career is a very individual phenomenon. The market and larger social forces may play a role at a structural level, but when it comes down to an individual, he or she seems to do what Americans have always done—make a move in the hopes of greater satisfaction./quote]

http://www.todaysengineer.org/2010/Feb/satisfaction.asp
 

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