Historians Of Science Face Up To Funding Crisis, Employment Crunch

Employment Crunch Author: Peter Gwynne Sidebar: How to Reach the Institutions One of the unpublicized victims of the heated congressional debate over the federal budget for fiscal 1996 is the discipline of history of science. In an environment of general uncertainty, one sure thing is that the field will lose significant funding. As a result, new Ph.D.'s as well as postdocs and junior faculty face intense and growing competition for academic posts. One year ago, for example, Harvard Universit

Peter Gwynne
Feb 4, 1996

Employment Crunch Author: Peter Gwynne
Sidebar: How to Reach the Institutions

One of the unpublicized victims of the heated congressional debate over the federal budget for fiscal 1996 is the discipline of history of science. In an environment of general uncertainty, one sure thing is that the field will lose significant funding. As a result, new Ph.D.'s as well as postdocs and junior faculty face intense and growing competition for academic posts.

One year ago, for example, Harvard University's history of science department advertised for a junior faculty specialist in history of medicine. The department sought an individual with a newly minted Ph.D., or possibly a year or two of postdoctoral experience. But the list of applicants included several highly accomplished individuals who had already had spent time as assistant professors. Academic posts at Harvard are always in demand. Nevertheless, according to Peter Galison, head of the history of...

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