Doctorate Recipients (SDR), and the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED). These surveys offer a comprehensive and integrated system of information on employment, education, and demographic characteristics of scientists and engineers in the United States. The three sample surveys consist of more than 100,000 respondents combined, representing a population of over 21 million who have science and engineering (S&E) or S&E-related degrees or occupations. The NSCG, which is the survey of interest to the panel, captures data on people with at least a bachelor’s degree, who account for 85-90 percent of the SESTAT population and is the only source of information on people with non-U.S. degrees.
NSF staff also reviewed the several mandates under which the agency operates. Under the 1950 act that created the agency, it is mandated to be a clearinghouse of information on the S&E enterprise. The amended act calls for NSF to collect and analyze demographic and education information on individuals with degrees in science and engineering and to design, establish, and maintain a data collection and analysis capability for the purpose of identifying and assessing the number and characteristics of scientists and engineers in the United States. Additional congressional mandates require NSF to produce the Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering and Science and Engineering Indicators biennial reports.
The panel heard from five SESTAT data users, including three of the panel’s own members, on the various uses of and needs for the data. The uses range from reconstructing answers from the census long form to evaluate the quality of the Census Bureau’s imputation of education, assessing gender and racial earning gaps, evaluating the relationship between work activity and earnings, and determining the contribution to U.S. science from foreign-born versus native-born workers. The NSCG is especially useful to researchers interested in determining how the labor force is changing and the effects of immigration.
The users stressed that within confidentiality and privacy limits, particularly under Title 13, data linkages between the ACS and the NSCG and links from the SDR and the NSCG to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database would be helpful in answering additional research questions. The latter of these linkages would facilitate research into the role of entrepreneurial activities in the fields of science and engineering.
The Census Bureau provided a comprehensive overview of the content testing planned for the field of bachelor’s degree question. There are two versions of the question: categorical or forced choice, and open-ended. Each version of the question was mailed to 15,000 housing units in July 2007, and nonresponse follow-up was conducted by telephone and personal visit in August and September. A content follow-up reinterview was conducted by telephone to assess the reliability of the responses. This