Young Scientists' Network information

Young Scientist's Network ysn-adm at ZOYD.EE.WASHINGTON.EDU
Thu May 20 19:49:24 EST 1993

							4 May 1993
About YSN (The Young Scientist's Network):

YSN is a free newsletter designed to address problems of employment
for new (not necessarily young) scientists.  The goals of this group are
1) To let the press, public, and government officials know that there is 
no shortage of scientists, there is, in fact, a glut.
2) To discuss how young scientists can find both traditional and
non-traditional careers despite the oversupply of scientists and engineers.

3) To act as a sounding board or "therapy" session for those of us who
have to let out a bit of steam about our frustrations in trying to
find some sort of rewarding career.

Letters from and articles about our group have appeared on American
Public Radio, in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the New York
Times, and Science.  Our letters to the President in 1991 helped
initiate a Congressional investigation of the NSF over the way it
handled the 'shortage' reports, and a hearing was held April 8, 1992
at which our founder, Kevin Aylesworth, testified. These hearings were
written up in Science Vol 256, (10 April 1992 p. 172) and the YSN was
described in a Science article Vol. 256 (1 May 1992 p. 606); see also
May 1993 Physics Today (page 57). The hearings were documented in
Nature Vol. 356 (16 April 1992 p. 553) and Chemical & Engineering News
Vol. 70 (20 April 1992 p. 14) Our representatives have been invited to
meetings with leaders of the physics community, the staff of the
President's science advisor (D.  Allan Bromley), and the director of
the NSF (Walter Massey).  Recently, a letter campaign started by us
was able to delay (perhaps permanently, keep the cards and letters
coming, folks) a Department of Labor ruling that would have declared
certain areas of engineering short of workers, and therefore
foreigners with the qualifications to work in those fields should be
given prefential treatment in immigration.  YSN also recently
completed the first successful petition drive in 20 years to place
four of our members on the ballot for the American Physical Society.
Kevin Aylesworth, Norman Barth, and Zachary Levine are running for
General Councillor, and Michael Cohen is running for Chair-Person
Elect of the Nominating Committee.  If you are a member of the APS,
keep those names in mind.  For more information about the above,
either contact YSN-ADM for the name of the person heading up a given
effort, or simply read the digest for a couple of weeks and you will
learn of any current projects underway.  Contact us via e - mail,
write us, or give us a call.  As of April 1993, we have over 2000

 Using the Network via Internet:
Messages for broadcast to the entire group should be sent to:
		ysn at
General questions, add/delete requests should be sent to:
		ysn-adm at
If you wish to broadcast a message anonymously, send it to:
		ysn-adm at

and ask the list manager to post a message for you.
The current list manager is John Sahr, (206) 685 4816, 
at the University of Washington Electrical Engineering Dept. with email    
ysn-adm at   [ ]

The subscription process is a little simpler if you use the daemon at
ysn-request.  You can automatically subscribe by sending mail to
ysn-request with "subscribe" as the Subject:

If you are on a Unix platform;
	mail -s "subscribe" ysn-request at
If you are on a VMS platform;
	$ mail<cr>
	MAIL> send<cr>
	  TO: `internet_gate'::"ysn-request at"<cr>
	  SUBJECT: subscribe<cr>
and leave the body of the message blank.  `internet_gate' is whatever node on
your local network your mailer uses for internet mail.

Similarly, you can unsubscribe the same way:

	mail -s "unsubscribe" ysn-request at

You can also get some information sent to you automatically.  Try

	mail -s "help" ysn-request at
	mail -s "send info" ysn-request at

to get this message, or some more information about the request
service.  Several recent articles about YSN are available
electronically either from the YSN host (zoyd) or the YSN archive at

Internet has over one million nodes world wide.  For most users, the
only cost is the local phone call to the nearest node, which is
usually located at a university, but industrial nodes exist.  Bitnet
access (10,000 nodes) is also available via special procedures.
Several on line data services can also provide connections.
Two YSN editors are: 
Dr. Eric Schmidt
306 N 1st Street, Hampton, VA  23664  (804) 766-9672
Internet email:  schmidt at

Dr. Gene Nelson, Biophysics Company,
7374 Brookside Parkway, Cleveland, OH 
Internet email:  au195 at

"The Ph.D. Supply Myth"...Some Facts.

CLAIM: There will be a massive shortage of scientists. ("The Myth")
FACT: Claims of a shortage of scientists are based on an NSF study
done in 1987.  The study was never subject to peer review and has been
discredited by experts both inside and outside the NSF. (cf.; the
congressional investigation referred to above)
CLAIM: The poor job market is a short-term aberration.
FACT:  Although the recession may be a short-term aberration, large 
government debts, defense budget cuts, and the new availability of 
Eastern European Ph.D. s are not short-term aberrations. 

CLAIM:  Many scientists will retire in the near future, opening up
many positions.
FACT:  Not all scientists will be replaced.  Furthermore, in the 
university setting, some will be replaced by postdocs and fixed-term 
faculty, rather than by tenure track faculty.  In industry and the
government, retired scientists will be replaced by postdocs, retrained
scientists, and foreign/contractual scientists.
CLAIM: It is important to quickly reverse the trend of declining 
numbers of domestic students going into science.
FACT:  The decline is largely attributable to market forces.  However, 
the number of Ph.D.s awarded in various areas of science has in fact 
been growing substantially in recent years.  Moreover, the pool of 
applicants for PhD positions is global.
CLAIM: Training more scientists is critical for the country's 
FACT:  It is just as important to improve the average worker's 
numeracy and scientific literacy.  Also, training too many specialists is 
a counterproductive waste of resources if they cannot get jobs that use 
their skills and training effectively. 

     John Sahr,      YSN mailing list admin,     206 685 4816
     ysn-adm at  jdsahr at

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