GOVT HEARINGS ON SCIENCE CAREERS!

Geoff Davis gdavis at cs.dartmouth.edu
Tue Mar 17 20:50:37 EST 1998


URGENT!
    HELP CONVINCE CONGRESS TO HOLD HEARINGS ON EARLY CAREERS AND
        GRADUATE EDUCATION IN SCIENCE, MATH, AND ENGINEERING
 
Congress is currently engaged in a sweeping examination of how science
in the US is done. Over the next two months there will be a series of
hearings that covers all aspects of science EXCEPT for early career
issues and graduate education.  Education is being discussed, but only
at the K-12 and undergraduate levels.  Unfortunately, the people
organizing the hearings have not been hearing enough from those of us
who are concerned about science careers and graduate education, and they
may be interpreting the silence as indicating no strong need for
improvement. There is still time for a hearing on early careers and
graduate education in science, but it won't happen unless we make our
voices heard.

You can help convince the hearing organizers that there are vital
concerns about science careers and graduate education that need to be
addressed. You will be most effective if you explain _why_ it is
important for Congress to hold a hearing to examine graduate education
and career-related issues.  Send email to mike.champness at mail.house.gov,
sharon.hays at mail.house.gov, and njema.frazier at mail.house.gov.  Make sure
your mail goes to all three people.  Alternatively, you can fill out a
form on the web at http://www.house.gov/science/feedback.htm. Some ideas
for specific issues that might be addressed at such a hearing are listed
below. Further information is online at
http://www.phds.org/hearings.html

Remember, the more people that send mail, the more convincing the case
will be for a hearing.  PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO ANYONE WHO IS CONCERNED
ABOUT THE STATE OF CAREERS IN SCIENCE AND THINKS THAT CONGRESS NEEDS THE
INPUT OF GRADUATE STUDENTS AND JUNIOR-LEVEL SCIENTISTS!


                      TRAINING TOMORROW'S SCIENTISTS

IMPROVING TRAINING AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Scientists and engineers are assuming roles of increasing importance and
diversity in society.  We are being called on to advance the frontiers
of knowledge, to foster economic growth, to provide education for a
high-tech workforce and leadership in a technology-driven society.

* How can the federal government foster graduate and postdoctoral
educational programs that prepare tomorrow's scientists for the broad
range of new roles they are being asked to play?
* What incentives can the federal government provide to foster creative
student research, innovative educational programs, and improved
mentoring?
* How can the federal government help students make more informed
choices about what types of training to pursue?
 
IMPROVING SCIENTIFIC WORK FORCE MANAGEMENT
* How should the federal government assess the effectiveness of its
multibillion-dollar annual investment in graduate and postdoctoral
training?
* What can the federal government do to better align the output of
graduate schools with the needs of the market?  What can the federal
government do to prevent destructive boom and bust cycles in the
scientific labor market?  
* How many Ph.D.s and postdocs should be funded and in what fields?  How
should these numbers be determined?

For details on the existing hearings, see
http://www.house.gov/science/science_policy_study.htm




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