women in science and breadth

Kathie T. Hodge kh11 at cornell.edu
Tue Jan 23 22:09:31 EST 1996

I found an interesting web site this evening on women as scientists over
the last 4000(!) years:


A paragraph in their Introduction touched a nerve:

> Today we define a scientist as someone who usually has a Ph.D. and works 
> in a technical field. This person is a specialist in a narrow field of 
> research, and often is well trained in only that field. Today's Ph.D. 
> shows special aptitude and creativity in a particular discipline and 
> rarely shows the same talent outside that discipline.

There has been a lot of lip service lately about "narrowness" versus
"breadth" of education--people within my earshot are talking about the
need to train grad. students more broadly.  It sounds good to me, but I
wonder how these students would fare when seeking a job.

Do any of you have any thoughts about how a job candidate with a shallower
knowledge of many subjects (and, presumably, a smaller and perhaps less
significant dissertation) would fare relative to one with a tight focus in
today's job market?

Kathie Hodge
kh11 at cornell.edu
PhD candidate

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