Peer Review: HISTORY

U27111 at uicvm.uic.edu U27111 at uicvm.uic.edu
Sat Jan 20 02:55:45 EST 1996



berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA (Alexander Berezin) wrote on 18 Jan
1996 14:01:02 -0800:


>My suggestion is that we should try to reduce science
>back to a sensible size. Science has become a fashion
>and a fad. It is "the thing" for an intelligent person
>to take up. However, there are many more intelligent
>persons than the world needs as scientists. For the
>present that cannot be altered, but the future is still
>open. My solution would be to drastically reduce the
>number of scientists. Let people take courses at
>university, but at the end of the courses make
>stringent selection of only very, very few promising
>candidates. These should receive a full and comprehensive
>training in all manner of techniques and then be left
>alone, with reasonable funding, to produce what they
>think is good.

Yes... I agree (and have previously wrote about this very thought
(suggestion?) in another newsgroup when we were discussing the
current PhD explosion).  Unfortunately, it wasn't taken too kindly
in that newsgroup.  For present grad students already feel it's too
hard (and too long) in getting a degree as it is [believe that one
or not!].  There are groups out there who are actually writing
ideas on how to make it even shorter (and easier) in attaining a
PhD.  Mostly because of the current lowly pay-scale for post-docs
and how long it takes to get established these days (and make
better money as opposed to slave labor).

Then there is also talk about unionizing the community.

As well as some talk about putting some sort've a band on foreign
PhDs coming into this country and taking jobs away?  [Apparently
and good portion of this PhD explosion comes from foreign doctors?]

Nevertheless, an idea as you suggested is probably the best one for
the long run.  But we still have to deal with the abundant amount
we already have in the field?  As well as creating a system where
the *best* are truly rewarded instead of currently getting pushed
out?

I have also come to the conclusion that we just don't have the
luxury of time for this suggestion to take effect and cause a
gradual change in the community for the better.

I know I am repeating myself... but I think that along with putting
*truth* first in our conduct... we also have to consider the people
factor.

And if current projections prove accurate, that there will be 40
million HIV+ people in this world by the year 2000 (and currently
there are 20 million)?  Then we need to do something more drastic
and immediate!

We just don't have the time.

I know my ideas are radical... but I honestly don't know what else
to suggest - short of putting a policeman in every lab (which is
clearly unacceptable)?

And I've said it before, I'll say it again... if *we* fail to do
something constructive about this current situation - it will
eventually been decided by other's outside our community (possibly
by the government?)?

I don't know.

-Kathy






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