Shortage of biologists?! Need YSN contact for protest.

forsburg at forsburg at
Sat May 22 05:54:28 EST 1993

In article <little.738001419 at alize.ERE.UMontreal.CA>, little at ERE.UMontreal.CA (Littlejohn Tim) writes:
> mhollowa at (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.
> 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. 
> Tim Littlejohn
> ==============================================================================
> E-mail:     little at         Tim Littlejohn 

Just to spread a little oil upon the waters (I hope!) and to expand
the discussion, I think that the 
frustration *I* felt on reading the SCIENCE news about the US labor
dept and the relaxation of immigration requirements was not about 
the immigration requirements per se (like Tim I think this is 
essentially an international profession which is one of its great joys) 
but about the idea that they could possibly get away with thinking 
there arent enough scientists.  I just  finished looking for a job 
in the USA and received rejection letters that quoted numbers of 
applicants for faculty positions of 250, or even 400!  That doesnt 
sound like a shortage of labour.  What happens to the 399 who didnt get the 
job?  In every country, science is getting
squeezed for  money, good research is not getting funded.  Can we
justify continuing what is essentially a pyramid scheme in training
young scientists, putting more hungry mouths, in ever increasing numbers,
 to feed at the same sized pie?  I think THIS issue affects
all of us in the international community.  Can we afford continued
expansion when there are insufficient resources to support those 
that are in the field already?  And if the answer is no, what then?

forsburg at

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