tries to find how those nations are responding to similar pressures. In addition, Joydeep Lahiri from Corning urged that universities think about how they are unique. The leading universities have the resources to be strong in all disciplines of chemistry, but not every university does. Uniqueness should be considered a strength and a source of competitive advantage rather than a weakness.
At the end of his presentation, Schuster recalled a phrase attributed to ancient China: “no one is as smart as everyone.” Though the workshop participants were very broadly based, they did not represent all of chemistry. He and other speakers urged the participants to continue the conversations started at the workshop among themselves and with other chemists after the workshop ended.
Schuster also pointed out that the chemistry graduate education “over the last 60 or 70 years has been remarkably successful in doing what it has been asked to do. The science and the technology and the innovation and the job creation that have come out of graduate research in this country are the envy of the world.” As such, it will be important for universities to build on their strengths as they change and not lose sight of what they have done and continue to do right.
It can be hard for people within the system to realize that the world is changing around them, Schuster said, but a failure to change can guarantee obsolescence. “You have to be able to step out of what you are doing and find a new that works in the current environment.”
He suggested that the graduate chemistry community continue to think about how to devise experiments that will attract creative and committed people. “The risk of failure of one of these solutions is going to be high, but of several of them, maybe one is going to be successful, and that can be a paradigm-shifting approach.”