Cold comfort for science

January 5, 1996

One can only marvel that a 1984-style "Newspeak" is alive and well in the rhetoric used by science policy leaders to justify the poor job performance of science graduates (THES, December 29). When the cold war enabled many science graduates to get jobs closely related to their training, the fact that arts graduates were forced to find employment far afield was regarded as evidence of a mismatch of supply to demand.

Now that scientists are in the same boat we are told that scientists are exceptionally "flexible" in their ability to adapt to a changing job market. Would it not be better if the science curriculum were restructured to reflect the likely job prospects of science students, rather than congratulating the survival instincts of those students?

Steve Fuller Professor of sociology and social policy University of Durham

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