More than a lab coat

What Does This Generation Think It Means to be a “Scientist”?:
[Via Discover Magazine | RSS]

This is the subject of my latest Science Progress column, in which–following on this important editorial by Bruce Alberts in Science–I celebrate the rich diversity of career choices that young scientists seem to be making–a diversity that could ultimately redefine the term “scientist” itself. An excerpt:


Many people still think of a guy in a white lab coat working at a university when the topic of a scientist is brought up. But even today, most scientists work outside of academia. Many work for corporations or for the government.

As noted by the NSF:

22 million scientists/engineers in US
18.9 million actually employed
69.4% work in the business sector
11.8% work for the government
8.2% work at 4 year institutions
10.7% work in for an educational institution that is not 4 year (i.e. 2 year or pre-college)

These are numbers from 2006. Less than 10% of the people with a degree in science or engineering work at universities. It is important to realize that scientists have a much greater range of influence than just working in academia.

It is nice to see greater recognition of this.

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