Monday, August 25, 2008

Anti-Grad School Propaganda

In an attempt to justify my actions I am passing along this article on the problems in the science world today.

"Instead of paying universities to use grad students and postdocs as very smart migrant laborers, the U.S. government needs a funding structure that provides large numbers of them a solid career ladder into the life that so many were implicitly promised. The jobs on that ladder need not compete financially with corporate law, medical specialization, or investment banking, because science offers intellectual riches so much more dazzling than money that they long enticed the ablest young Americans to accept more modest remuneration in exchange for the chance to do great research. But the futures we provide to the young people we ask to devote their lives and talents to learning and doing science must match those other careers in providing at least a reasonable likelihood that hard work and devotion can attain their goal."

Another article from the same source

"according to the Urban Institute, “S&E occupations make up only about one-twentieth of all workers, and each year there are more than three times as many S&E four-year college graduates as S&E job openings.” It is simply wrong for public policy in this country to seek the production of more scientists without a commensurate effort to ensure that the job opportunities for them are also expanding."

On the plus side, the field I am looking to get into looks to be really booming.

"Over in Silicon Valley, stalwart venture capital funds like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Khosla Ventures, headed by Sun Microsystems cofounder Vinod Khosla, are spreading huge bets around on a staggering variety of start-ups. In the second quarter alone, some $2 billion in venture cash flowed into the[energy] sector, according to the Cleantech Group, an all-time record, beating out a $1.8 billion influx in the third quarter of 2007. Watch the VC funds' spending for new investing ideas once markets improve and start-ups begin going public again in full force.

U.S. government support could soon be improving, too. Almost everyone agrees that the next administration will be kinder to green technology than the current one. John McCain has said he'd like to offer a $300 million prize to the inventor of a battery strong enough to power a car. Barack Obama has made investing in clean energy a core element of his economic plan. Both candidates also want to create a carbon emission cap-and-trade system, an almost seismic event for green-tech firms as companies would rush to meet new pollution regulations by adopting new technologies."Source

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