Shortage of biologists?! Need YSN contact for protest.

Littlejohn Tim little at ERE.UMontreal.CA
Fri May 21 11:23:39 EST 1993


mhollowa at ic.sunysb.edu (Michael Holloway) writes:

>This week's Science has a news article about the dippy (can I say that here?)
>Labor Department belief that there are too few molecular biologists and, there
>for, they must recruit foreign workers in the field to fill all those vacant
>positions.  As a graduate student in the process of writing my thesis I would
>like to write to these people asking them if they wouldn't prefer to come 
>here personally and cut my throat.  I'm already looking at a desperate 
>situation and someone out there seems to want to make it worse.  

While I sympathise with the employment problems faced by the research
community in the USA, I would like to make a couple of comments.

First of all, the Internet is a GLOBAL community.  USENET postings, 
typically, are distributed to the "world" (as this one was).  The email
subscription to BIONET postings is also, I'm sure Dave Kristoffersen
would confirm, global.  Thus it is very important to realise you are 
addressing a global community when posting here.  As it turns out,
the problems described here are in reference to the USA, although they 
may be equally applicable to any number of other countries.

Secondly, I feel that the scientific community, like the Internet, 
is a global community.  As an Australian working in Canada, I feel that
I have benefitted greatly from being here and hope that I have contributed
to both the research effort of the country and to the community in general.
I certainly know that when I was in Australia, the labs in which I worked
profited immensley from the different perspectives, experiences and backgrounds
of the foreign workers who visited us (from the USA, Thailand, Holland and 
Malaysiaia, to name a few).

Thirdly, with respect to the situation in the USA at the moment, I have a 
number of Australian friends working as postdoctoral fellows in labs across the 
country.  They were invited there by the principal investigators of those labs.
It was not their intention to take jobs away from any US citizen.  
I have read the Science article and I understand the policy issue is 
the relaxation of the requirements of hiring foreign employees.  All the same,
I think it is not really fair to imply that foreign workers have any
deliberate intention to take anyone elses job.

You have the right, the OBLIGATION, to fight for what you believe in.
But it is courteous to consider the audience to which you address your 
opinions, too.

Tim Littlejohn


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