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Selling Scholarship

T.V. Rajan's article "Cause Of Current Funding Crisis May Lie In De-emphasis Of Scholarship" [The Scientist, April 29, 1996, page 10] was informative and thought-provoking, but it had little to do with its title. Scholarship is as hard to sell as it is to define, and the personal inclinations or prerequisites for scholarship cannot be taught directly. Is it possible or desirable to educate just prospective Newtons and Einsteins? Of course, that is facetious, and there is a lot of room between N

Christian Schwabe

T.V. Rajan's article "Cause Of Current Funding Crisis May Lie In De-emphasis Of Scholarship" [The Scientist, April 29, 1996, page 10] was informative and thought-provoking, but it had little to do with its title. Scholarship is as hard to sell as it is to define, and the personal inclinations or prerequisites for scholarship cannot be taught directly. Is it possible or desirable to educate just prospective Newtons and Einsteins? Of course, that is facetious, and there is a lot of room between Newtons and Einsteins and what we are educating today, often for the wrong reasons, I agree. We need both types of scholars-theoreticians and experimenters.

The symptoms of our establishment have been described clearly and accurately by Rajan, but he was too kind to volunteer the diagnosis. One could speak of surface blemishes extending into the core. Still we have made remarkable progress in science, so that...

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