Analysts Debunk Idea Of Scientist Shortage, Citing Defects In Current Economic Models

Peter House is chief analyst and director of the Division of Policy Research and Analysis at the National Science Foundation. In one corner of his 12th-floor office stands a bookcase filled with 30 years' work on public policy analysis and technical assessment. So it's somewhat surprising to the 54-year-old House that a single, 34-page unpublished paper written in 1989 and revised several times since then has attracted so much attention and made him the center of a sharp debate over whether the

Jeffrey Mervis
Apr 28, 1991

Peter House is chief analyst and director of the Division of Policy Research and Analysis at the National Science Foundation. In one corner of his 12th-floor office stands a bookcase filled with 30 years' work on public policy analysis and technical assessment. So it's somewhat surprising to the 54-year-old House that a single, 34-page unpublished paper written in 1989 and revised several times since then has attracted so much attention and made him the center of a sharp debate over whether the United States faces a shortage of scientists.

"We began with the fact that the population of college-age people has been declining since the mid-1980s, and will continue to drop until the middle of this decade," he explains. "Then we added in the fraction of Americans earning bachelor's degrees in the natural sciences and engineering [NS&E], a percentage that has been very stable over the past three decades."

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