Having worked in research in both the United States and Europe, I agree with [D.J.] Steinberg's observations (Commentary, The Scientist, 12[13]:8, June 22, 1998), particularly in regard to the "bargain basement wages for many workers." The northern European institutions award teaching assistantships to graduate students that roughly correspond to postdoc salaries in the U.S. Assistant professors receive a wage commensurate with their education and experience, not below the national average for elementary and high school teachers, as is the case in many academic institutions in the U.S. Unfortunately, there is a real danger that the exploitive U.S. model will be adopted in other countries as the most desirable, not because of its feasibility, but because of its visibility.

Janaki Blum, Ph.D.
Research Assistant, Tufts University
Medford, MA 02155

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