Monday, November 5, 2012

ACS Webinar on the doctoral glut

ACS Webinars is holding one on "Are there More Scientists Than Jobs?". This is with Professor Richard Freeman (Harvard). It is also with Professor Paula Stephan (Georgia State), author of "How Economics Shapes Science." It will be moderated by Patricia Simpson, Director of Academic Advising and Career Services for UIUC's School of Chemical Sciences.

Let me be blunt and say this up front: Professors Freeman and Stephan are well-respected scholars on this issue, and have more-or-less come out on the "Yes" side of the equation above.

Tune in on Thursday, November 8 at 2 pm Eastern. I'll be listening (and Tweeting/liveblogging), and I hope you will be as well. 


  1. Is it possible there is a glut of scientists or a shortage of positions (or both) because there is a glut of people on Earth? In other words, are we as a species producing more people than we need?
    If there were a politically correct way of addressing this, I would have. I know it is harsh and not pleasant to think about. I do wonder if anybody else has thought this, though.

  2. no, there is a glut of scientists specifically because US politicans, business leaders, and many academics design programs to address the "STEM shortage." By creating a surplus of labor, R&D remains cheaper than it should be considering the efforts employees have to put in to join and remain in the scientific labor force.

    There is not such a glut of MDs, MBAs or JDs and other degrees of which politicans or business leaders wish to retain (or inflate) value.

    1. Actually, there is a glut of lawyers. But, unlike in science, people aren't pushing for lawyers and saying our society needs more of them.

    2. More scientists: potentially better for society, worse for the scientists.
      More lawyers: potentially worse for society, worse for the lawyers.


  3. Wow, it is amazing that the ACS finally found the exit door from LaLa land after so many decades of stating the US needs lots more chemists. Could it be that they are now trying to save their tax-free publishing empire and that with so many hostile members and former members out in the land, they figured that a retreat from the mo-chemists party line was their only way to out flank the open publishing movement? Or maybe with Rudy gone MJ just had no more cover?