Very interesting. 'Get a Ph.D. etc...'

Abdul K Janoudi janoudi at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Thu May 25 15:56:14 EST 1995

I recieved the following very interesting article that is directly relevant to
the discussion on the over-supply of Ph.D's.
It is a rather long article, but the author eventually makes some very good
points. I took the liberty of editing the article to focus on the relevant

> Scientific Elites and Scientific Illiterates
> by David Goodstein
> California Institute of Technology
> Today, with my customary modesty, I would like to follow in Albert's bicycle
> tracks and begin this talk by posing a paradox.  The paradox is that we, here
> in the United States today, have the finest scientists in the world, and we
> also have the worst science education in the world, or at least in the
> industrialized world.  There seems to be little doubt that both of these
> seemingly contradictory observations are true.  American scientists, trained
> in American graduate schools produced more Nobel Prizes, more scientific
> citations, more of just about anything you care to measure than any other
> country in the world; maybe more than the rest of the world combined.  Yet,
> students in American schools consistently rank at the bottom of all those
> from advanced nations in tests of scientific knowledge, and furthermore
> roughly 95% of the American public is consistently found to be scientifically
> illiterate by any rational standard.  How can we possibly have arrived
> at such a result?  How can our miserable system of education have produced
> such a brilliant community of scientists?  I would like to refer to this
> situation as The Paradox of the Scientific Elites and the Scientific
> Illiterates.
> In my view, these two seemingly contradictory observations are both true,
> and they are closely related to one another.  We have created a kind of
> feudal aristocracy in American science, where a privileged few hold court,
> while the toiling masses huddle in darkness, metaphorically speaking, of
> course.  However, I also think inexorable historic forces are at work that
> have already begun to bring those conditions to an end.  Not that light will
> be brought to the masses necessarily, but that our days at court are clearly
> numbered.
snip snip

> The point is that the era of exponential growth in science is already over.
> The number of journals is one measure, but all others tend to agree.  In
> particular, it applies to the number of scientists around.  It is probably
> still true that 90% of all the scientists who have ever lived are alive
> today, and that statement has been true at any given time for nearly 300
> years.  But it cannot go on being true for very much longer.  Even with the
> huge increase in world population in this century, only about one-twentieth
> of all the people who have ever lived are alive today.  It is a simple
> mathematical fact that if scientists keep multiplying faster than people,
> there will soon be more scientists than there are people.  That seems very
> unlikely to happen.
> I think the last 40 years, in the United States, have seen the end of the
> long era of exponential growth and the beginning of a new era we have not yet
> begun to imagine.  These years will be seen in the future as the period in
> which science began a dramatic and irreversible change into an entirely new
> regime.  Let's look back at what has happened in those 40 years in light of
> this historic transformation.
> The period 1950-1970 was a true golden age for American science.  Young
> Ph.D's could choose among excellent jobs, and anyone with a decent scientific
> idea could be sure of getting funds to pursue it.  The impressive successes
> of scientific projects during the Second World War had paved the way for the
> federal government to assume responsibility for the support of basic
> research.  Moreover, much of the rest of the world was still crippled by the
> after-effects of the war.  At the same time, the G.I. Bill of Rights sent a
> whole generation back to college.  The American academic enterprise grew
> explosively, especially in science and technology.  Even so, that explosive
> growth was merely a seamless continuation of the exponential growth of
> science that had dated back to 1700.  It seemed to one and all (with the
> notable exception of Derek da Solla Price) that these happy conditions would
> go on forever.
> By now, in the 1990's, the situation has changed dramatically.  With the
> Cold War over, National Security is rapidly losing its appeal as a means of
> generating support for scientific research.  To make matters worse, the
> country is 4 trillion dollars in debt and scientific research is among the
> few items of discretionary spending in the national budget.  There is much
> wringing of hands about impending shortages of trained scientific talent to
> ensure the Nation's future competitiveness, especially since by now other
> countries have been restored to economic and scientific vigor, but in fact,
> jobs are scarce for recent graduates.  The best American students have proved
> their superior abilities by reading the handwriting on the wall and going
> into other lines of work.  Half the students in American graduate schools in
> science and technology are from abroad.  The golden age definitely seems
> over.
> Both periods, the euphoric golden age, 1950-1970, and the beginning of the
> crunch, 1970-1990, seemed at the time to be the product of specific temporary
> conditions rather than grand historic trends.  In the earlier period, the
> prestige of science after helping win the war created a money pipeline from
> Washington into the great research universities.  At the same time, the G.I.
> Bill of Rights transformed the United States from a nation of elite higher
> education to a nation of mass higher education.  Before the war, about 8% of
> Americans went to college, a figure comparable to that in France or England.
> By now more than half of all Americans receive some sort of post-secondary
> education, and nearly a third will eventually graduate from college.  To be
> sure, this great and noble experiment in mass higher education has failed
> utterly and completely in technology and science, where 4-5% of the
> population can be identified as science and technology professionals, and the
> rest may as well live in the pre-Newtonian era.  Nevertheless, the expanding
> academic world in 1950-1970 created posts for the exploding number of new
> science Ph.D's,  whose research led to the founding of journals, to the
> acquisition of prizes and awards, and to increases in every other measure of
> the size and quality of science.  At the same time, great American
> corporations such at AT&T, IBM and others decided they needed to create or
> expand their central research laboratories to solve technological problems,
> and also to pursue basic research that would provide ideas for future
> developments.  And the federal government itself established a network of
> excellent national laboratories that also became the source of jobs and
> opportunities for aspiring scientists.  As we have already seen, all this
> extraordinary activity merely resulted in a 20 year extension in the U.S. of
> the exponential growth that had been quietly going on since 1700.  However,
> it was to be the last 20 years.  The expansion era in the history of science
> was about to come to an end, at least in America.
> Actually, during the second period, 1970-1990, the expansion of American
> science did not stop altogether, but it did slow down significantly compared
> to what might have been expected from Price's exponential curves.  Federal
> funding of scientific research, in inflation-corrected dollars, doubled
> during that period, and by no coincidence at all, the number of academic
> researchers also doubled.  Such a controlled rate of growth (controlled only
> by the available funding, to be sure) was not, however consistent with the
> lifestyle that academic researchers had evolved.  The average American
> professor in a research university turns out about 15 Ph.D. students in the
> course of a career.  In a stable, steady-state world of science, only one of
> those 15 can go on to become another professor in a research university.  In
> a steady-state world, it is mathematically obvious that the professor's only
> reproductive role is to produce one professor for the next generation.  But
> the American Ph.D. is basically training to become a research professor.
> American students, realizing that graduate school had become a training
> ground for a profession that no longer offered much opportunity, started
> choosing other options.  The impact of this situation was obscured somewhat
> by the growth  of postdoctoral research positions, a kind of holding tank for
> scientific talent that allowed young researchers to delay confronting reality
> for 3 or 6 or more years.  Nevertheless, it is true that the number of the
> best American students who decided to go to graduate school started to
> decline around 1970, and it has been declining ever since.
> In the meantime, yet one more surprising phenomenon has taken place.  The
> golden age of American academic science produced genuine excellence in
> American universities.  Without any doubt at all, we lead the world in
> scientific training and research.  It became necessary for serious young
> scientists from everywhere else either to obtain an American Ph.D., or at
> least to spend a year or more of postgraduate study here.  America has come
> to play the role for the rest of the world, especially the emerging nations
> of the Pacific rim, that Europe once played for young American scientists,
> and it is said, that Greece once played for Rome.  We have become the primary
> source of scientific culture and learning for everyone.  Almost unnoticed,
> over the past 20 years the missing American graduate students have been
> replaced by foreign students.  This change has permitted the American
> research universities to go on producing Ph.D's almost as before.
> Nevertheless, it should be clear by now that with half the kids in America
> already going to college, academic expansion is finished.  With the Cold War
> over, competition in science can no longer be sold as a matter of national
> survival.  There are those who argue that research is essential for our
> economic future, but the managers of the economy know better.  The great
> corporations have decided that central research laboratories were not such a
> good idea after all.  Many of the national laboratories have lost their
> missions and have not found new ones.  The economy has gradually transformed
> from manufacturing to service, and service industries like banking and
> insurance don't support much scientific research.  Each of these conditions
> appears to be transient and temporary, but they are really the immediate
> symptoms of a large-scale historic transformation.  For us in the United
> States, the expansionary era of the history of science has come to an end.
> The future of American science will be very different from the past.
> Let's get back now to the Paradox of Scientific Elites and Scientific
> Illiterates.  The question of how we educate our young in science lies at the
> heart of the issues we have been discussing.  The observation that, for
> hundreds of years the number of scientists had been growing exponentially
> means, quite simply, that the rate at which we produced scientists has always
> been proportional to the number of scientists that already existed.  We have
> already seen how that process works at the final stage of education, where
> each professor in a research university turns out 15 Ph.D's, most of those
> wanting to become research professors and turn out 15 more Ph.D's.
> Recently, however, a vastly different picture of science education has been
> put forth and has come to be widely accepted.  It is the metaphor of the
> pipeline, illustrated in this slide, which shows the cover of a recent issue
> of Science magazine.  The idea is that our young people start out as a
> torrent of eager, curious minds anxious to learn about the world, but as they
> pass through the various grades of schooling, that eagerness and curiosity is
> somehow squandered, fewer and fewer of them showing any interest in science,
> until at the end of the line, nothing is left but a mere trickle of Ph.D's.
> Thus, our entire system of education is seen to be a leaky pipeline, badly in
> need of repairs.  As the cover of Science indicates the leakage problem is
> seen as particularly severe with regard to women and minorities, but the
> pipeline metaphor applies to all.  I'm not quite sure, but I think the
> pipeline metaphor came first out of the National Science Foundation, which
> keeps careful track of science workforce statistics (at least that's where I
> first heard it).  As the NSF points out with particular urgency (and the
> Science cover echoes) women and minorities will make up the majority of our
> working people in future years.  If we don't figure out a way to keep them in
> the pipeline, where will our future scientists come from?
> I believe it is a serious mistake to think of our system of education as a
> pipeline leading to Ph. D's in science or in anything else.  For one thing,
> if it were a leaky pipeline, and it could be repaired, then as we've already
> seen, we would soon have a flood of Ph.D's that we wouldn't know what to do
> with.  For another thing, producing Ph.D's is simply not the purpose of our
> system of education.  Its purpose instead is to produce citizens capable of
> operating a Jeffersonian democracy, and also if possible, of contributing to
> their own and to the collective economic well being.  To regard anyone who
> has achieved those purposes as having leaked out of the pipeline is worse
> than arrogant; it is silly.  Finally, the picture doesn't work in the sense
> of a scientific model:  it doesn't make the right predictions.  We have
> already seen that, in the absence of external constraints, the size of
> science grows exponentially.  A pipeline, leaky or otherwise, would not have
> that result.  It would only produce scientists in proportion to the flow of
> entering students.
> I would like to propose a different and more illuminating metaphor for
> science education.  It is more like a mining and sorting operation, designed
> to cast aside most of the mass of common human debris, but at the same time
> to discover and rescue diamonds in the rough, that are capable of being
> cleaned and cut and polished into glittering gems, just like us, the existing
> scientists.  It takes only  a little reflection to see how much more this
> model accounts for than the pipeline does.  It accounts for exponential
> growth, since it takes scientists to identify prospective scientists.  It
OB> accounts for the very real problem that women and minorities are woefully
> underrepresented among scientists, because it is hard for us, white, male
> scientists to perceive that once they are cleaned, cut and polished they will
> look like us.  It accounts for the fact that science education is for the
> most part a dreary business, a burden to student and teacher alike at all
> levels of American education, until the magic moment when a teacher
> recognizes a potential peer, at which point it becomes exhilarating and
> successful.  Above all, it resolves the paradox of Scientific Elites and
> Scientific Illiterates.  It explains why we have the best scientists and the
> most poorly educated students in the world.  It is because our entire system
> of education is designed to produce precisely that result.
> It is easy to see the sorting operation at work in the college physics
> classroom, where most of my own experience is centered, but I believe it
> works at all levels of education and in many other subjects.  From elementary
> school to graduate school, from art and literature to chemistry and physics,
> students and teachers with similar inclinations resonate with one another.
> The tendency  is natural and universal.  But, if it is so universal, you
> might ask, why is America so much worse off than the rest of the world?  The
> answer, I think, is that in education and in science, as in fast food and
> popular culture, America is not really worse than the rest of the world, we
> are merely a few years ahead of the rest of the world.  What we are seeing
> here will happen everywhere soon enough.  Our colleagues abroad can take what
> scant comfort they can find in the promise that our dilemmas in science and
> education are on the way, along with Big Macs and designer jeans.
> Getting back to America, the mining and sorting operation that we call
> science education begins in elementary school.  Most elementary school
> teachers are poorly prepared to present even the simplest lessons in
> scientific or mathematical subjects.  In many places, Elementary Education is
> the only college major that does not require even a single science course,
> and it is said that many students who choose that major do so precisely to
> avoid having to take a course in science.  To the extent that is true,
> elementary school teachers are not merely ignorant of science, they are
> preselected for their hostility to science, and no doubt they transmit that
> hostility to their pupils, especially young girls for whom elementary school
> teachers must be powerful role models.  Even those teachers who did have at
> least some science in college are  not likely to be well prepared to teach
> the subject.  Recently, I served on a kind of visiting committee for one of
> the elite campuses of The University of California, where every student is
> required to have at least one science course.  The job of the committee was
> to determine how well this requirement was working.  We discovered that 90%
> of the students in majors outside science and technology were satisfying the
> requirement by taking a very popular biology course known informally as
> "human sexuality".  I don't doubt for an instant that the course was valuable
> and interesting, and may even have tempted the students to do voluntary
> "hands on" experimentation on their own time (a result we seldom achieve in
> physics).  But I do not think that such a course by itself offers sufficient
> training in science for a university graduate at the end of the 20th century.
> These students, some of whom will go on to become educators, are themselves
> among the discards of the science mining and sorting operation.
> In any case, the first step of the operation is what might be called passive
> sorting, since few elementary school pupils come into personal contact with
> anyone who has scientific training.   Certainly, we all know that many young
> people decide that science is beyond their understanding long before they
> have any way of knowing what science is about.  Nevertheless, a relatively
> small number of students, usually those who sense instinctively that they
> have unusual technical or mathematical aptitudes, arrive at the next levels
> of education with their interest in science still intact.
> The selection process becomes more active in high school.  There are about
> 22,000 high schools in the United States, most of which offer at least one
> course in physics.  Physics is my own subject, and I have had some influence
> on the teaching of physics in American high schools because a remarkably
> large fraction of them use "The Mechanical Universe", a television teaching
> project I directed some years ago.  Because I have some first-hand knowledge
> about physics in high schools, I'll stick to that, although I suspect what I
> have to say applies to other science subjects as well.  Anyway, there are
> just a few thousand trained high school physics teachers in the U.S., far
> fewer than there are high schools.  The majority of courses are taught by
> people, who, in college, majored in chemistry, biology, mathematics, or
> surprisingly often, home economics, a subject that has lost favor in recent
> years.  I know from personal contact that these are marvelous people, often
> willing to work extraordinarily hard to make themselves better teachers of a
> subject they never chose for themselves.  My greatest satisfaction from
> making "The Mechanical Universe" comes from the very substantial number of
> them who have told me that I helped make their careers successful.   Their
> greatest satisfaction comes from - guess what - discovering those diamonds in
> the rough that can be sent on to college for cutting and polishing into real
> physicists.
> I don't think I need to explain to you what happens in college and graduate
> school, but I'd like to tell you a story of my own because I think it helps
> to illustrate one of my main points.  By far the best course I had in college
> was not in physics, but rather it was a required writing and literature
> course known as Freshman English.  The Professor was my hero, and I was
> utterly devoted to him.  He responded just as you might expect:  he tried
> hard to talk me into quitting science and majoring in English.  Nevertheless,
> the thought of actually doing that never crossed my mind.  I knew perfectly
> well that if I was ever going to make anything of myself, I was going to have
> to suffer a lot more than I was doing in Freshman English!  The story
> illustrates that we scientists are not the only ones who engage in mining and
> sorting.  The real point, however, is that for most of us in the academic
> profession, our real job is not education at all; it is vocational training.
> We are not really satisfied with our handiwork unless it produces
> professional colleagues.  That is one of the characteristics that may have to
> change in the coming brave new world of post-expansion science.
> American education is much-maligned, and of course it suffers from severe
> problems that I need not go into here.  Nevertheless, it was remarkably well
> suited to the exponential expansion era of science.  Mass higher education,
> essentially an American invention, means that we educate nearly everyone,
> rather poorly.  The alternative system, gradually going out of style in
> Europe these days, is to educate a select few rather well.  But we too have
> rescued elitism from the jaws of democracy, in our superior graduate schools.
> Our students finally catch up with their European counterparts in about the
> second year of graduate school (this is true, at least, in physics) after
> which they are second to none.  When, after about 1970, the gleaming gems
> produced by this assembly line at the end of the mining and sorting operation
> were no longer in such great demand at home, the humming machinery kept right
> on going, fed by ore imported from across the oceans.
> To those of us who are Professors in research universities, those foreign
> graduate students have, temporarily at least, rescued our way of life.  In
> fact we are justly proud that in spite of the abysmal state of American
> education in general, our graduate schools are a beacon unto the nations of
> the world.  The students who come to join us in our research are every bit as
> bright and eager as the home-grown types they have partially replaced, and
> they add energy and new ideas to our work.  However, there is another way of
> looking at all this.  Graduate students in the sciences are often awarded
> teaching assistantships, for which they may not be well qualified, because
> their English is imperfect.  In general, through teaching or research
> assistantships or fellowships, they are paid stipends and their tuitions are
> either waived, or subsidized by the universities.  Thus our national and
> state governments find themselves supporting expensive research universities
> that often serve undergraduates poorly (partly because of those foreign
> teaching assistants) and whose principal educational function at the graduate
> level has become to train Ph.D's from abroad.  Some of these, when they
> graduate, stay on in America, taking some of those few jobs still available
> here, and others return to their homelands taking our knowledge and
> technology with them to our present and future economic competitors.  It
> doesn't take a genius to realize that our state and federal governments are
> not going to go on forever supporting this playground we professors have
> created for ourselves.
> To most of us professors, of course, science no longer seems like a
> playground.  Recently, Leon Lederman, one of the leaders of American science
> published a pamphlet called Science -- The End of the Frontier.  The title is
> a play on Science -- The Endless Frontier, the title of the 1940's report by
> Vannevar Bush
> that led to the creation of the National Science Foundation and helped launch
> the Golden Age described above.  Lederman's point is that American science is
> being stifled by the failure of the government to put enough money into it.
> I confess to being the anonymous Caltech professor quoted in one of
> Lederman's sidebars to the effect that my main responsibility is no longer to
> do science, but rather it is to feed my graduate students' children.
> Lederman's appeal was not well received in Congress, where it was pointed out
> that financial support for science is not an entitlement program, nor in the
> press, where the Washington Post had fun speculating about hungry children
> haunting the halls of Caltech.  Nevertheless, the problem Lederman wrote
> about is very real and very painful to those of us who find that our time,
> attention and energy are now consumed by raising funds rather than doing
> research.  However, although Lederman would certainly disagree with me, I
> firmly believe that this problem cannot be solved by more government money.
> If federal support for basic research were to be doubled (as many are calling
> for), the result would merely be to tack on a few more years of exponential
> expansion before we'd find ourselves in exactly the same situation again.
> Lederman has performed a valuable service in promoting public debate of an
> issue that has worried me for a long time (the remark he quoted is one I made
> in 1979),  but the issue itself is really just a symptom of the larger fact
> that the era of exponential expansion has come to an end.
> The crises that face science are not limited to jobs and research funds.
> Those are bad enough, but they are just the beginning.  Under stress from
> those problems, other parts of the scientific enterprise have started showing
> signs of distress.  One of the most essential is the matter of honesty and
> ethical behavior among scientists.
> The public and the scientific community have both been shocked in recent
> years by an increasing number of cases of fraud committed by scientists.
> There is little doubt that the perpetrators in these cases felt themselves
> under intense pressure to compete for scarce resources, even by cheating if
> necessary.  As the pressure increases, this kind of dishonesty is almost sure
> to become more common.
> Other kinds of dishonesty will also become more common.  For example, peer
> review, one of the crucial pillars of the whole edifice, is in critical
> danger.  Peer review is used by scientific journals to decide what papers to
> publish, and by granting agencies such as the National Science Foundation to
> decide what research to support.  Journals in most cases, and agencies in
> some cases operate by sending manuscripts or research proposals to referees
> who are recognized experts on the scientific issues in question, and whose
> identity will not be revealed to the authors of the papers or proposals.
> Obviously, good decisions on what research should be supported and what
> results should be published are crucial to the proper functioning of science.
> Peer review is usually quite a good way of identifying valid science.  Of
> course, a referee will occasionally fail to appreciate a truly visionary or
> revolutionary idea, but by and large, peer review works pretty well so long
> as scientific validity is the only issue at stake.  However, it is not at all
> suited to arbitrate an intense competition for research funds or for
> editorial space in prestigious journals.  There are many reasons for this,
> not the least being the fact that the referees have an obvious conflict of
> interest, since they are themselves competitors for the same resources.  It
> would take impossibly high ethical standards for referees to avoid taking
> advantage of their privileged anonymity to advance their own interests, but
> as time goes on, more and more referees have their ethical standards eroded
> as a consequence of having themselves been victimized by unfair reviews when
> they were authors.  Peer review is thus one among many examples of practices
> that were well suited to the time of exponential expansion, but will become
> increasingly dysfunctional in the difficult future we face.
> We must find a radically different social structure to organize research and
> education in science.  That is not meant to be an exhortation.  It is meant
> simply to be a statement of a fact known to be true with mathematical
> certainty, if science is to survive at all.  The new structure will come
> about by evolution rather than design, because, for one thing, neither I nor
> anyone else has the faintest idea of what it will turn out to be, and for
> another, even if we did know where we are going to end up, we scientists have
> never been very good at guiding our own destiny.  Only this much is sure:
> the era of exponential expansion will be replaced by an era of constraint.
> Because it will be unplanned, the transition is likely to be messy and
> painful for the participants.  In fact, as we have seen, it already is.
> Ignoring the pain for the moment, however, I would like to look ahead and
> speculate on some conditions that must be met if science is to have a future
> as well as a past.
> It seems to me that there are two essential and clearly linked conditions to
> consider.  One is that there must be a broad political consensus that pure
> research in basic science is a common good that must be supported from the
> public purse.  The second is that the mining and sorting operation I've
> described must be discarded and replaced by genuine education in science, not
> just for the scientific elite, but for all the citizens who must form that
> broad political consensus.
> Basic research is a common good for two reasons:  it helps to satisfy the
> human need to understand the universe we inhabit, and it makes new
> technologies possible.  It must be supported from the public purse because it
> does not yield profits if it is supported privately.  Because basic research
> in science flourishes only when it is fully open to the normal processes of
> scientific debate and challenge, the results are available to all.  That is
> why it is always more profitable to use someone else's basic research than to
> support your own.  For most people it will also always be easier to let
> someone else do the research.  In other words, not everyone wants to be a
> scientist.  But to fulfill the role of satisfying human curiosity, which
> means something more than just our own, we scientists must find a way to
> teach science to non-scientists.
> That job may turn out to be impossible.  Perhaps professional training is
> the only possible way to teach science.  There was a time long ago when
> self-taught amateurs could not only make a real contribution to science, but
> could even become great scientists.  Benjamin Franklin and Michael Faraday
> come to mind immediately.  That day is long gone. I get manuscripts in the
> mail every week (attracted, no doubt, by my fame as a T.V. star) from
> amateurs who have made some great discovery that they want me to bring to the
> attention of the scientific world, but they are always nonsense.  The
> frontiers of science have moved far from the experience of ordinary persons.
> Unfortunately, we have never developed a way to bring people along as
> informed tourists of the vast terrain we have conquered, without training
> them to become professional explorers.  If it turns out to be impossible to
> do that, the people may decide that the technological trinkets we send back
> from the frontier are not enough to justify supporting the cost of the
> expedition.
> If that happens, science will not merely stop expanding, it will die.
> Tackling in a serious way the as-yet uncontemplated task of bringing real
> education in science to all American students would have at least one
> enormous advantage:  it would give a lot of scientists something worthwhile
> to do.  On the other hand, I'm not so sure that opening our territories to
> tourism will bring unmixed blessings down upon us.  For example, would the
> scientifically knowledgeable citizens of our Jeffersonian republic think it
> worth $10 billion of public funds to find out what quarks are made of?  I
> don't know the answer to that question, but I am reasonably sure that a
> scientifically literate public would not have supported President Reagan's
> Star Wars program, which in its turn, did help for a while to support at
> least a small part of my own research.  In other words, keeping the tourists
> away has some advantages that we may have to give up.
> Nevertheless, I'm willing to take the gamble if you are.  I don't think
> education is the solution to all our problems, but it does seem like a good
> place to start.
> Besides, I really don't know what else we can do.
> -----------------------------

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