Thursday, August 04, 2005

Pentagon's New Goal: Put Science Into Scripts - New York Times

Pentagon's New Goal: Put Science Into Scripts - New York Times
Why would they do this at a cost of $25,000? They think if scientists write scripts that portray scientists in a more favorable light, they can increase the number of American students preparing for scientific careers. Yea, yea, that's the ticket.

2 comments:

Eddie said...

lol

glabrous3 said...

I must say that there is some merit to the Pentagon's notion. The number of students entering research careers from the US is much lower than the demand - hence the high number of foreign grad students in the math and sciences. Part of this shortfall owes to the fact that there are no realistic role-models for most scienfic careers in most communities. When I was considering coming to grad school the mother of a good friend of mine told me that researchers only chose their field because of some family tragedy which caused them to choose to devote their lives to a cause. If you do not live near a center of research the only idea you have about what researchers do is through TV and movies, which radically distort this profession.
Ironically, there is already a show on TV that accurately portrays scientists - Nova on PBS - but nobody watches PBS. If the pentagon really wanted more scientists (especially physicists and chemists which are math-intensive) they should radically increase salaries for researchers. Right now, if you are very good in mathematics, why would you go into the sciences (which is very labor intensive, reletively low paying, and requires an enormous amount of education), when you could go into business (my brother got his MBA in 2 years and is making more than I will after I get my 7 year PhD and 3 post-doc) or anything related to computers (I have a good friend that doesn't even have a B.S. who is making more than the starting science faculty at LSU - this doesn't say as much for his profession as it does about the salary of an assistant professor). But of course, I am just an "ivory-tower elitist". What could I know.