In Scientific American, Beryl Lieff Benderly writes that for years, Americans have heard that there’s a shortage of scientists and that the US faces fierce competition from other nations, but, she adds, some labor economists disagree. “There is no scientist shortage,” says Richard Freeman, a Harvard University economist. Benderly points out that about 25 percent of American science PhDs candidates will find a faculty job and that about 15 percent of them will be at a large research university. “Many observers believe that the existing system of research by professors who constantly produce large numbers of scientists unlikely to achieve their career aspirations is near collapse. The real crisis in American science education is not young Americans’ inability to learn, or the schools’ inability to teach, but a distorted job market’s inability to provide them careers worthy of their abilities,” she writes.
A Worthy Path
Feb 26, 2010