ander367 at MAROON.TC.UMN.EDU
Wed Jul 26 12:22:12 EST 1995
I would be interested in connecting with any women scientists who are going to
attend the NGO Forum and UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in
August and September 1995!
GIWS and AWIS are collaborating with OFAN and other NGOs on issues concerning
women, science and technology to voice concerns of women in science to the U.N.
and governments of nations. We are particularly looking for women with foreign
language and leadership skills to lead the workshops.
ander367 at maroon.tc.umn.edu
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Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 08:33:24 -0500
From: Donna Llewellyn <donna.llewellyn at ISYE.GATECH.EDU>
Subject: [ASLA 95-21: Reshaping Graduate Education] (fwd)
Sorry if you have seen this elsewhere - I just thought it would interest
>Date: Mon, 24 Jul 1995 19:24:53 -0700
>Reply-To: Suzanne Brainard <brainard at U.WASHINGTON.EDU>
>Sender: Women in Engineering Program Advocates Network
> <WEPAN-L at VM.CC.PURDUE.EDU>
>From: Suzanne Brainard <brainard at U.WASHINGTON.EDU>
>Subject: [ASLA 95-21: Reshaping Graduate Education] (fwd)
>To: Multiple recipients of list WEPAN-L <WEPAN-L at VM.CC.PURDUE.EDU>
>This may be of interest to those of you with graduate programs.
> Source: AGU Staff
> A National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report concluding that graduate
> education of scientists and engineers must change to reflect
> developments in science, engineering, the economy, and the broader
> society was the subject of a recent hearing of the House Science
> Subcommittee on Basic Research, chaired by Rep. Steven H. Schiff
> The Subcommittee first heard from Dr. Phillip Griffiths, chair of the
> NAS Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy that produced
> the report.
> Griffiths said that the study committee envisioned a "PhD of the
> future." While retaining the best aspects of the existing PhD in
> providing students an independent research experience, it would have a
> different goal of enhancing career options and broadening students'
> The study committee recommended a new model of PhD education that
> incorporates four attributes.
> First, graduate programs should be more flexible and provide more
> options for students. Students who intend to seek a career in basic
> research should have a grounding in the broad fundamentals of their
> fields and should have some personal familiarity with several
> subfields. In addition, experiences that supply career skills beyond
> those gained in the classroom and laboratory, such as off-campus
> internships, could make graduates more effective in business,
> government, and academia at all levels.
> Second, students should receive better career information and guidance.
> Establishment of a national database of information on employment and
> trends was recommended. The database would include information on
> career paths as well as on such topics as graduate programs, financial
> aid, time to degree, and placement rates.
> Third, time to degree should be tightened. The median number of years
> between receipt of a bachelors degree and a PhD in science and
> engineering has risen to more than eight years, an increase of about
> two years since 1960.
> Fourth, a new class of grants called education/training grants should
> be established. Heavy reliance on research assistantships for graduate
> student support has tended to make the needs of research projects
> rather than the students' educational needs paramount. The
> education/training grants would be awarded competitively to
> institutions and departments that propose to improve the versatility of
> students, strengthen advisory systems, and tighten curricula.
> Griffiths described several findings of the study committee. Despite
> the stories of high unemployment of new PhDs, the committee determined
> that graduates are finding jobs -- but they are finding nonacademic
> jobs more easily than they are finding academic research positions. As
> a result, many new PhDs are experiencing the pain of unmet
> Another finding was that there are inefficiencies in the process of
> educating and preparing PhDs for employment. In part, these
> inefficiencies are caused by large structural changes in the employment
> landscape. Cuts in defense spending, restructuring in industries, and
> slower growth in federal R&D spending have altered the market for
> scientists and engineers.
> Also, the conduct of science was found to be changing. The
> organization of science is becoming more flexible as the boundaries
> between fields become more permeable. As a result, employers place
> high value on scientists and engineers who can communicate,
> collaborate,and work across disciplines.
> Two panels of witnesses testified before the Subcommittee following
> The first panel consisted of Dr. Neal Lane, Director of the National
> Science Foundation, and Dr. Harold Varmus, Director of the National
> Institutes of Health.
> Lane reported on a workshop on graduate and postdoctoral training
> hosted by the NSF Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences.
> Tentative findings from the workshop closely parallel those of the NAS
> report. NSF data show that unemployment and underemployment rates do
> vary significantly across fields, with engineers and life scientists
> generally faring better than physicists, sociologists, and
> geoscientists. Lane noted that many academic departments have begun
> to redesign their degree programs in light of current concerns,
> providing more opportunities for group and interdisciplinary research
> to prepare students better for careers outside academe.
> Varmus said that graduates of NIH-supported programs are finding
> employment in "nontraditional" occupations -- patent law, science
> policy and administration, the media, investment firms, and novel
> educational settings. He said there has been growth of employment in
> medical research industries--including biotechnology, research
> supplies, and pharmaceutical companies.
> The second panel included Dr. Joseph Miller, senior vice president for
> central research and development of Dupont; Dr. Ned Heindel of Lehigh
> University and past president of the American Chemical Society; Dr.
> George Walker, vice president for research and Dean of the Graduate
> School of Indiana University, and chair of the Council of Graduate
> Schools; Dr. Mark Wrighton, Chancellor of Washington University; and
> Dr. Kevin Aylesworth, founder of the Young Scientists Network.
> Members of this panel were in general agreement with and support of the
> NSA report. Heindel expressed concern that employment figures for PhDs
> look good due to the "great postdoc buffer soaking up graduates." He
> said this produced glowing employment figures, when in reality, many
> PhDs were still serving as postdocs years after getting their degrees.
> Aylesworth cautioned that "care must be taken in using ultimate career
> outcomes to determine funding levels and allocation--'career success'
> should not be defined as 'teaching and research' only, as it is today.
> He said that for today's PhD, 'alternative careers' is little more
> than a buzzword that soothes the establishment. He cautioned that
> there is very little data on alternative career opportunities for
> scientists and engineers, and virtually no data on how they move from
> the traditional job market to other careers.
> George Brown (D-CA), ranking member of the House Science Committee,
> attended the hearing. He said he was disturbed by the lack of
> information on the issue and that the science establishment may be
> closing its eyes to the situation, because it likes the supply of
> cheap labor for the university research system.
> ASLA 95-21: AGU Science Legislative Alert (ASLA)
> A KOSMOS service for AGU members.
> E-mail address: asla at kosmos.agu.org
Donna C. Llewellyn
Director for Academic Support
School of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Atlanta, GA 30332-0205
internet: donna.llewellyn at isye.gatech.edu
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