Friday, October 10, 2014

Parking some links for discussion

From this week, but not been addressed:


  1. I'm wondering if if would be worthwhile to establish a group of chemists to do high school demonstrations instead of leaving it to the teachers. A school district would probably only need one person to do it. Or maybe a volunteer group.

    1. Or maybe they could require chem majors on the high school teaching track to take less fluffy education-theory courses and more upper-level chemistry courses so they'll actually understand what they're doing instead of just narrating a textbook out loud.

  2. I think Marder is right and wrong.

    Right in that you can't predict who the truly talented and hard-working scientists will be before grad school. The classmates in my first year that I had pegged for greatness were not the ones that ended up most successful. So it's true that if we want lots of great leaders--in academia and industry--we probably need to train far more than we need.

    Wrong about the "alternative careers" cheeriness. (Of course, her livelihood depends on holding on to that delusion). She talks about learning to think and write critically as though that sort of thing never happened outside of academia. You are no better a web developer (to use the example from the Boston Globe story) because you spent a decade or so on a PhD and a postdoc!

  3. Wow, a full 2/3 of people who graduate with a biology Ph.D. do a post-doc? I knew there were a lot but that is insane. It would be interesting to see the average starting salary of a biology Ph.D. holder with those doing post-docs included. I bet that number would be low enough to scare some people off...