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postdocs -- ask your mentor

Judith Gibber jrg43 at columbia.edu
Mon Aug 18 06:44:01 EST 1997

On 16 Aug 1997, C. Boake wrote:

> Now we are in a stage with relatively few college-age students, and less
> need for large faculties.  But was anyone thinking about that for the past
> 15 or 20 years?  If so, it was nobody with any influence.  

Right, I was one of those non-influential ones.  I proposed a symposium
to AAAS for their annual meeting in 87, I think it was, which I titled
"Too Many Scientists?"  I had put together a panel of speakers, including
an anthropologist who had studied unemployed physicists in the 70's,
someone from the field of higher ed, who had studied underemployed PhD's
in other fields, and 2 or 3 others.  I wrote a blurb describing how 
there are increasing numbers of PhD's unable to find real jobs.  

I called AAAS to ask why they rejected the proposal.  The answer I got 
was that my proposal was simply "anecdotal", and, sure, there might be 
here and there a few unemployed scientists, but we have REAL DATA, and 
MATHEMATICAL MODELS that clearly show that the pipeline is empty and 
we want to get out the message that MORE students should become 

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