Issue Date: August 3, 2009
Research Space For Retirees
My memory may be getting fuzzy, but I remember universities in the 1930s and earlier often offered research space, though not funds, for anyone with a recognized doctorate to continue research on their own (C&EN, April 20, page 4). I was pretty young when I read this in university catalogs, and at the time I thought it was a grand idea.
I succeeded in my quest, but universities after World War II changed course and slowly became big businesses, forgetting their primary objective. I suppose providing lab space for retirees wouldn't be practical for scientists because of high costs. But I think it might work for all those other disciplines where what is needed is only a little cubical with a desk, preferably in the university library and with the support of the library, for a person to do research.
I have not tried to use university libraries for the past 20 years because I live in Mexico, but as I remember, the restrictions on outsiders using those facilities were becoming bigger and bigger impediments to accomplishing real work.
La Paz, Mexico
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