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[Excerpt] As someone who served on the committee that issued the 1998 study of the early careers of life scientists that Teitelbaum talks about in his article and who has critiqued models that projected shortages of new PhDs, I am very sympathetic to many of the points that he makes (National Research Council, 1998; Ehrenberg, 1991). What I want to focus on today is the word we in his title, because, as Teitelbaum emphasizes, the question of shortages or surpluses is often in the eye of the beholder. For example, from the perspective of faculty members involved in the academic enterprise, increased research project budgets lead to increased demand for graduate research assistants and postdoctoral fellows. Each faculty member wants to maximize his own research output, and concern about future employment prospects for one's students often falls by the wayside.


Suggested Citation
Ehrenberg, R. G. (2004). Does America face a shortage of scientists and engineers? [Electronic version]. In T. K. Kelly, W. P. Butz, S. Carroll, D. M. Adamson, & G. Bloom (Eds.), The U.S. scientific and technical workforce (pp. 28-31). Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.

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