Public Funding and Science
Today, the good author at “Why We Are Screwed,” commented on my post http://southwerk.com/2014/05/27/do-the-american-people-need-to-become-re-introduced-to-science/
(This comment appeared on the mirror site, https://southwerk.wordpress.com.)
Here is his comment in full. I totally approve.
Yes! I am sure I sound like a broken record – but once again, public funding for science needs to be increased, prospective science/engineering PhD students need to be told that they are unlikely to land assistant professor positions upon study completion, and working conditions for PhDs also need to improve drastically. Universities need to cut the administrative fat, cease functioning like corporation and put the focus on the purpose of university; getting research and teaching done.
I will also argue that the United States should improve its immigration policies and procedures to make it easier to attract and retain talented foreign scientists. Many are unhappy with the American immigration and education system, which does not make it easy for PhDs/post-docs to balance their professional and personal lives.
Canada, which is a resource rich country, needs to spend a larger percentage of its GDP on more scientific research and development, to align itself with the spending of other wealthy countries. The current and recent governments have had dismal records in this regard.
Finally, in Canada/US there are too many PhD scientists working on either post-doctoral salaries — or not in their fields at all.
If we continue down this path there will be fewer and fewer good scientists to learn from – and we will continue to carry out research which is only in the interest of corporations and not the public good.