Issue Date: February 16, 2009
Science Careers Aren't All Rosy
HAVING READ "The Lure of Informal Education," I am surprised at the persistent popular belief that it is possible to spark a serious interest in science among children and adults (C&EN, Nov. 24, 2008, page 45). The reason new generations are not interested is simple: Children see who gets to rub elbows with local celebrities—the people with nice cars, houses, vacations, offices with a view (you get the point)—and it isn't the scientist in the neighborhood.
The scientist will likely be laid off when he or she becomes too expensive for the corporation, while the business-school folks determine their income and job longevity.
So why would a modern-day youngster in the U.S. ever consider science beyond a hobby, especially if they are driven, ambitious people (even if ambitious just means professionally)? I think the growing disparity in science and business college enrollments tells the story, and this will not be changed by motivational speeches or similar efforts.
J. Gabriel DosRamos
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
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