Allocation of PhDs

Gavin Fischer gfish at
Fri Mar 15 17:30:52 EST 1996

Alexander Berezin (berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA) wrote:

: On Wed, 13 Mar 1996, ;ljl;kj wrote:

: [ prev.posting snipped ]

: > 
: > Ever hear of a free market?  This system is fraught with potential for 
: > abuse....Sounds like you are ready for a BRAVE NEW WORLD...aren't you 
: > worried that you might be a *gasp* delta?  Don't you think the gov't has 
: > enough control over us? 
: > 
: > There are those of us who believe that the PhD is not a means to an end 
: > but an end within itself.  You don't hear from them because one positive 
: > sentiment in an ocean of negativity is replied to with flames.  These 
: > people probably stop reading the newsgroups because there is nothing 
: > constructive to read, just a lot of whining.  So your life does not 
: > follow the cookie cutter recipe that you had planned for and hoped 
: > with it and be happy if you can put food on the's 
: > more than many can do.
: > 
: > 

: In short, what you are saying that there are PhDs for whom
: PhD is an end in itself, i.e. they don't aspire (neither should) 
: to get anywhere higher than ethernal Postdoc and should be happy 
: that they can put food on the table (and driving rusty car). 

: Perhaps you have seen such PhD/Postdocs (how many ?), but I can't 
: recall a single one. For my 20+ years as a professor, I can't
: even recall a single PhD student who did NOT want to become 
: a (tenured) professor OR to get a high calibre R&D position
: in industrial research (many got it). Not a single time I have
: heard "my dream is to postdocing for prof X at Univ.of A, THEN 
: postdocing for Prof. Y at Univ.of B, THEN postdocing for Prof Z
: at Univ.of C, etc, to end up on welfare or semetery, whichever
: comes first.   

: **********************************
: Alexander A. Berezin, PhD
: Department of Engineering Physics
: McMaster University, Hamilton,
: Ontario, Canada, L8S 4L7
: tel. (905) 525-9140 ext. 24546
: **********************************

Why should science be differant than the rest of life. Many people
want to play professional sports- and work toward that dream for
a great many years. They do not all get to play- no matter what a 
waste of talent that is. Not everyone gets to be a CEO etc...
the people who are doing stuff they don't want to do in this 
world probably far out number the poeple who are doing what they
want to do. Science is not in a vaccuum here- the whole world is
going through this right now. I have the same concerns as all of
my non-science friends- yet they think that it is life and most
scientists seem to think that this is a grand imposition on their
god given and PhD derived right to do science at the professorial
level. I think that we are seeing an equalization of real life with
the scientific world. I think that is we who have to learn. I am 
not saying that your ideas are bad- as I do think that some amount
of change is going to be neccesary. I do think that there are going 
to be people that get PhD's and don't make it above post doc level.

Gavin Fischer
BU Program in Immunology.

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