Educators Rally To Salvage Science Dropouts

Experts urge schools to leave the door open for potential researchers who fall outside the conventional talent pool WASHINGTON--Science educators, searching for ways to avert a projected shortage of scientists, have begun to question the conventional wisdom on how tomorrow's scientists are identified and trained. The prevailing view that scientists are survivors, identified early as the best and brightest of a static pool of talent that shrinks as students progress through school, isn't borne

Jeffrey Mervis
Feb 17, 1991
Experts urge schools to leave the door open for potential researchers who fall outside the conventional talent pool
WASHINGTON--Science educators, searching for ways to avert a projected shortage of scientists, have begun to question the conventional wisdom on how tomorrow's scientists are identified and trained.

The prevailing view that scientists are survivors, identified early as the best and brightest of a static pool of talent that shrinks as students progress through school, isn't borne out by recent studies on student academic preferences and career decisions during and after high school.

As a result, say those concerned with the problem, federal officials must go beyond efforts to enlarge the size of that initial pool of talent in elementary and secondary school. Rather, they must seek to better understand the reasons why a large group of talented high school students either forgo college entirely or study something besides science as undergraduates.

"Rather...

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