Pragmatic Necessity Date: December 7, 1992
In the Profession section of this issue, Liane Reif-Lehrer explores a subject whose importance cannot be overstated. She declares that, as scientists, we have an ethical duty to the research community. The "Golden Rule" she discusses involves mentoring and other forms of support as a means of repaying our debts to the world of science in which we have thrived. I agree that this is a valuable way for us to express our gratitude to the community that engendered our individual successful careers.
In any human pursuit--professional or otherwise--one's achievements rest upon some early inspiration and support from others. The responsibility to help those who are now struggling as we once did seems to be just and reasonable.
However, given the array of challenges now confronting the science community, it is pertinent to reiterate that "paying back" is a pragmatic as well as an...