Recent science and engineering graduates are entering a better job market than reports on two national surveys might indicate. A 25% percent decline in job offers to the class of 1987, reported by the College Placement Council, is in part the result of an 11 percent decline in the number of placement offices that participated in its 27th annual salary survey. Likewise, a 12 percent decline in job offers to the class of 1986, reported by the 1987 Northwestern Endicott-Lindquist survey of 230 U.S. businesses, must be balanced by a 25 percent increase in acceptances by those same graduates.
The decline in job offers was reported in Science (December 4, 1987, vol. 238, p. 1426) by Eleanor Babco, whose Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology each year reports on dozens of salary surveys. Hut the placement survey's Dawn Gulick played down the job offer statistics.
The groups survey, based on data from college placement offices, is used by recruiters "to compare their starting salaries with those of their competitors," she said. "There's no way of knowing how the number of offers relates to the number of jobs out there."
The survey found that starting salaries for graduates in biological sciences were 14 percent higher than for their counterparts in 1986; chemists earned 9 percent more. Engineers had smaller salary increases, while other physical scientists saw a 5 percent drop.
The Northwestern University survey, based on 32,000 positions filled, shows the tenuous relationship between offers and jobs. Out of every 100 campus interviews by the class of 1986, noted Northwestern Dean Victor Lindquist, 14 students got job offers and 10 accepted an offer. In 1985 the comparable figures were 16 offers and eight acceptances. Thus, he said, more students graduated with a job in 1986 than in 1985.
Journal Gives Prize for Mangled Prose
Date: January 25, 1988
LONDON-Theres no shortage of obscure prose in the scientific literature, judging from entries to competition organized by The Veterinary Record, which recently announced the winner.
He is Martin Gregory of Weybridge, England who submitted a sentence from G.W. Arnold and ML. Dudzinski's book Ethology of FreeR anging Domestic Animals (ier, 1978) The authors wrote: "That the sense of smell used by these cattle was established because of the marked audible variation in inhalation intensity as the animals grazed." Gregory's translation: "We knew the animals used their sense of smell because we heard them sniffing as they grazed."
A close runner-up was veterinarian J.D. Wilkinson, who submitted a circular that the U.K. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food sent last year to local veterinary inspectors across the country. Entitled "Cancellation of Animal Health Circulars and Circular Letters," it states "The following Animal Health Circular is canceled. Title of Circular: Cancellation of Animal Health Circulars and Circular Letters. This Animal Health Circular is self-canceling.'
Several entries were disallowed because they were not accompanied by a translation, as required under contest rules. These include one submitted by Alexander Kohn from a paper by Richard M. Klein and George K.K. Blink on crown gall in the 1955 Quarterly Review of Biology "A change elicited by an affect or effect or by an effectant in the affectee is a passive or active response affect or response effect. If it counters the affect or effect of the affectant which elicits it, it is an active counter-affect or counter-effect. If it is an active counter affect or effect, it is a counter active affect or effect, i.e., a reaction in the strictest sense of the term as used hy pathologists."
Also disallowed was an item from THE SCIENTIST submitted by Charles Cannon of Chicago. In an interview that appeared in the October 5, 1987, issue, Marvin Goldberger, director of the Institute for Advanced Study, said: "it's ludicrous what people can in fact graduate from high school knowing about science." Cannon supplied no translation, but described the sentence as "both terse and terrible."