Your piece about the "brain drain" from NIH (November 14, 1988, page 1) illustrates how silly and ineffective bureaucracies can be in dealing with professional and creative people. My own brain drained from Australia in the mid-1960s because general conditions for academic and scientific work here offer so much more scope and freedom than in Australia; I was not at all dissatisfied with my salary or with our standard of living in general. So with most of the people who have come here in the last few decades from many parts of the world.

Within the U.S., too, salary is by no means the most important factor; if it were, then universities would have no good people teaching engineering or computer science or a number of other subjects in which industrial salaries can be twice as high, or more, than academic salaries. Working conditions are crucial, and surely one of...

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