The committee was charged to examine trends in research careers of life scientists in
training, at the conclusion of training, and in the years immediately after training
and to examine the implication of these trends for the persons involved and for the
health of the life-science enterprise. The committee's goal was to frame
recommendations that would be beneficial both to the young aspirants to scientific
careers and to the enterprise they had committed to. The committee recognized that
it was dealing with interdependencies among educators, trainees, investigators,
funders, and entrepreneurs that truly constituted a sociotechnical system of great
complexity. The importance of established stakes in the status quo quickly became
apparent, and the committee recognized that there was no single locus of power to
make changes in the system that has produced undesirable outcomes for some young
scientists. If change is to occur, it will be through the uncoordinated action of
many persons at many institutions who try to consider what is best for their
students and their profession and then take appropriate action.
This project was supported by Contract No.
N01-OD-4-2139 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institutes
of Health, Grant No. BIR-9512867 from the National Science Foundation, Grant No. APP
0589 from the Burroughs Welcome Fund, and by the Academy-Industry Program of the
National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication
are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the
organizations or agencies that provided support for this project.
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing
Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of
the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the
Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were
chosen for their special competence's and with regard for appropriate balance.
© 1998, National Academy of