Citing a need to replenish and train their own work force, United States companies are joining academia, government, and communities in the effort to reform science education, as indicated by several recent initiatives. Industry officials and others maintain that their participation can infuse a business perspective, as well as a "sense of urgency" and focus that is lacking in the national dialogue on this issue.
Bassam Shakhashiri, a professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who was assistant director for science and engineering education at the National Science Foundation from 1984 to 1990, contends that industry involvement in this effort is more than a welcome contribution; it is a necessity. "The business community must be involved intimately in the science education reform arena because they have expertise that academic communities can benefit from," he asserts. Shakhashiri says that this expertise ranges from "technical know-how" in science areas to...
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