Letter: Unreasonable Odds

I was quite taken by the juxtaposition in "Ominous Statistics Foretell Drastic Shortage Of Scientists" and "But The Figures Can Exaggerate Our Anxiety" [The Scientist, June 25, 1990, page 11]. I would like to suggest a way to allay this disastrous shortage before it occurs. Why don't we try funding the Ph.D.'s we are producing now? One of my key concerns about getting on the Ph.D. track has been the wages, both now and in the future. Before I came to graduate school in molecular biology, I was

Kimberly Tanner
Oct 1, 1990

I was quite taken by the juxtaposition in "Ominous Statistics Foretell Drastic Shortage Of Scientists" and "But The Figures Can Exaggerate Our Anxiety" [The Scientist, June 25, 1990, page 11]. I would like to suggest a way to allay this disastrous shortage before it occurs. Why don't we try funding the Ph.D.'s we are producing now?

One of my key concerns about getting on the Ph.D. track has been the wages, both now and in the future. Before I came to graduate school in molecular biology, I was making $28,000 annually as a research technician. Now I get a stipend of $900 per month. After my Ph.D. is conferred, I face another three to five years as a postdoctoral fellow. If I am fortunate enough to get an NIH fellowship, I'll make $17,500 annually. Is there any other field that requires as much training before a salary level...

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